If I am correct on my predictions, the NL pennant race will be a fun one.  I see three teams with playoff potential, and a fourth that is just shy of it.  Sorry San Diego fans, this isn’t your year. [Ed. Note — JERK!]  Good news though, the Chinese calendar says it is going to be the year of the Tony Gwynn soon. [Ed. Note — I take it back. Sorta.] (You can check out the AL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The name says it all, it’s what everyone keeps asking for,  NSVH.  It sounds like a spin-off of CSI, or Law and Order.  Except with really geeky dudes who shouldn’t really have an actual head-shot of themselves for use as their avatar.  We know who they are, and pointing fingers isn’t polite unless it’s the one that I normally get from people at the retirement home I frequent for volunteer duties.  Much love Shady Acres.  So this week we delve into the numbers game, the ones that mimic me and steal my Nutella sandwich.  These projections are highly irregular and tougher than most other stats in the pretend game.  The fluctuation of personnel by teams is mind boggling and makes me look goofy.  So in the chart below I am giving you the top-60 NSVH chaps with some pertinent stats that help all.  During the year, I’ll get into more of the sustaining stats, but since we aren’t there yet, I can’t just make them up.  Those tendency stats that I am referring to (Inherited Runners, Inherited Runners Scored, and Appearances with Lead) are my way of determining both closer and set-up guy efficiency.  How they are used and when they are used.  So those that are looking forward to that, hooray for you.   So without further adieu, here are some projections for the top NSVH guys for this year.

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?

To answer your first question, no, I am not dead.  Secondly, sorry to disappoint you.  As we count down the days to draft and when pitchers/catchers report, it’s a virtual ‘pins and needles’ fest for some of the closer battles that could be looming.  Some of these battles are going to be very interesting, ’cause battles are awesome and make fools of everyone.  Let’s dive into some of those battles, shall we? The Cubs and their smoke-show of a bullpen is first and foremost. Jose Veras looks to be the guy, until Pedro Strop‘s me-mah gets all free paella for every manager named Sveum.  The Orioles still really don’t have a closer, and until free agency is kaput, Tommy Hunter is the guy. And the other one to keep an eye on is Colorado… I mean my name is Smokey… so I am firmly entrenched in the bumper crop going on there.  LaTroy Hawkins has been called the “closer” for now.  I have a feeling that the Rockies, at some point, get all nepotistic and gives it to Rex Brothers. The last situation I would monitor is the effectiveness and trust level that Pittsburgh has with Grilli, who is getting back into the saddle.  Mark Melancon is arguably the first non-definite closer for me that is draft worthy over some guys who are low on this list that have the job.  So stay tuned conclusionary fans, it’s early and things are always a changin’.  Like last year, I will be doing an off-week Holds post to keep all things relievers up to date.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh, how we are going to miss Mariano Rivera. I’ve never owned him, but always wished I did. Personally, I’m a Yankee hater, but I always enjoyed watching him work his ninth inning magic like a smooth pick up artist. So now we are left without one of the greatest closers to ever play the game and a permanent fixture on the $12 salad menu. But like all things fantasy, we must move on and start prepping for next season by keeping our minds sharp and our cheat sheets easily accessible. The great mix up called free agency and the winter meetings are just a stones throw away and will hopefully give us some clarity into what comes next.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Clever girl.

The McC went 1-for-2 last night with a run. Not really numbers deserving of the lede, but since I only get to do this once a week, I do what I want. And plus, I had already done my photoshop before the game ended. So there’s that. Truth be told, I really have nothing else to say about Andrew McCutchen. It is a very fine season. You know that. I know that. Sky… may not know that. He’s busy helping out all you folks that don’t have a Fantasy Baseball team in the running over at RazzFoot. That’s what I’m calling our Fantasy Football site. Because 20 years ago, I loved the Ninja Turtles. You know, the Foot Clan? RazzFoot? NINJA VANISH! Eh. Whatever. The McCutch is having a great year. He’s having a great Fantasy Baseball year. To hate him is to hate kittens. To love him is to not spell it McCutcheon. Start spreading the word. Here’s what else I noticed yesterday:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So I was semi-bored this week, only semi, because I am a guy and porn still does exist. I was looking at the save totals this year as compared to last year, so I went to my local library and to my surprise it still exists, although I had to google directions on how to get there. So, the numbers this year through Tuesday — that’s 8/26 for all of you keeping score on your watch calculator — are as follows: there have been 1971 games played, 1971 wins and losses (if they don’t equal then something is wrong) and the total saves for MLB to date is exactly 1,000. You’re asking yourself how does this help you? Well this is a numbers game where the games left play against you in order to move up in the standings. So, if save totals are averaging at 50.8% of the wins, and this number is fairly consistent (2012: 51.4, 2011: 51.1), and there are 459 (there are 2,430 wins and loses every year, minus rain outs) wins left to garner a save in, that gives you 233 saves left to collect in your league. That may look like a lot but you prolly only have anywhere between 2-4 closers on your roster, so the accumulation for your gain may be slim. Stick around for some opines on some closers, I can’t promise there won’t be anymore numbers though.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Because we don’t like to leave anyone out here (yeah, right; I don’t think 80% of the words I use would be made up if I wasn’t trying to exclude anyone. I’m sure everyone that stumbles on the site is like, “Oh, yeah, he’s a SAGNOF hot schmotato that was pulling a Kotchman with The Concusstador.”), the title is referring to Phil Rizzuto commercials from the 80’s. I don’t like to point out where anything comes from, to be honest, but Rudy thought it was necessary for non-NY’ers. I do like pointing out how I don’t like pointing anything out, is that too meta for you? So, with that aside, um, aside, Scooter Gennett is calling a black man White and holy cow he’s hot (hitting near .375 in the last week and over .400 in August with 3 homers). You know what Scooter is doing? He’s playing hard in the dog days of the summer to prove he should have the starting job next year. From a fantasy perspective, I love that. If you can have a whole fantasy team of guys playing for a job, and playing well, you’ll be okay during this time of year. Gennett also has some speed in his gams and won’t hurt you on average. If you have a trouble area in the middle infield, I’d absolutely look at him. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

First Heyward, and now Brandon Beachy is headed to see Dr. Freeze. This is the worst back-to-back days in Atlanta since Sherman burnt Atlanta and then Home Depot decided to push back their grand opening by 100 years. If the Braves keep going like this, TBS might have to show repeats of The George Lopez Show. NOOOOOOOO!!! The caps were for emphasis, you know, in case it was lost on anyone. The last pitcher to see Dr. James Andrews and pitch again within 6 months was Lee Majors during a Battle of the Network Stars tourney, but he was bionic. I’d put five internet dollars on Beachy missing the season, but I’d hold him for now. This would obviously clear up the confusion in the rotation between Alex Wood, Paul Maholm and Kris Medlen. Or Alis Moodlen, for short, though that sounds like a guitarist for Deep Purple. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So, how’s your season? *connects hose to tailpipe* That good, huh? Well, the end is near my depressed Razzballin’ droogs. Some of us are prepared for the sprint to the finish and others are drinking too much Colt 45, screaming “Ike Davis” at confused strangers and assembling Fantasy Football draft boards in their tighty whities and Ken Stabler throwbacks. Speaking of which, everyone say hello to Sky. He’s our Fantasy Football Czar and would like to meet your acquaintance here. If you’ve enjoyed our weekly jammer crammer sessions, once we wrap up this here baseball season in a pretty little bow, your humble Guru will continue jamming and cramming on Fantasy Football Island. So join a RCL League now. As for our fake baseball teams, how did you do? Taking a look at The Guru’s collection of teams, I’d have to say it’s been a satisfying season. Currently I’m staring at 10 firsts, 5 seconds and a third. 16 teams? Yes, I admit I do have a problem with moderation. Excuse me while I pour another scotch. Good morning. The areas that have been problematic for me this year have been steals and saves. SAGNOF! Injuries to Jason Motte and Joel Hanrahan certainly didn’t help and had me scrambling to the waiver wire early and often for the likes of Koji Uehara and Rex Brothers. When it comes to steals, the early injury to Jose Reyes and now the suspension of Everth Cabrera put me in the SAGNOF hole. Ouch! Stay away from my SAGNOF hole, it’s an exit not an entrance. As we enter the final three weeks of the regular season, here’s hoping your season has been a success and all the credit can be heaped upon your motley crew of Razzballin’ scribes. If you are out of it, damn the fantasy gods, troll Tehol on Twitter and let me pour you a tumbler of Islay. Enjoy and leave a comment below on the state of your season. It’s time to jam it or cram it – SAGNOF! Part II: Red, White and Screwed.

Please, blog, may I have some more?