Whenever spring training starts to wind down and the closer spot is yet to be determined, it’s never a good thing. It causes rosters to get fat off the land, and wastes your draft picks on no-news type situations. I will turn my one good lazy eye to the Minute Maid conundrum of “who closes for the Astros?” Some may ask: “who cares?” But this is the essence of SAGNOF believers. Cheap closers are what makes the fantasy world get on a sit, spin, chug a beer, and scream obscenities at trolley cars. So from the beginning of the hot-stove baseball season, and even after they signed Luke Gregerson, I believe that it’s still Chad Qualls‘ job. No news is good news for the incumbent… Even though the news all across the reliever landscape is all speculation, “he said this” and “the beat writer said that”. Well, the only person who actually knows is the manager, Hinch. So I am going to do my best to break it down from my ivory soap tower. Stick around, there may be something fun or edible once you get inside.Please, blog, may I have some more?
We now get to the ugly step-sister of rankings and the waiver darling position that we all chase. The relief pitcher is by far the most debated position on who to draft, where, and when. For the most part, I agree with you (with whatever you think), but the guys you want…if you get them where they are being drafted, usually beat or exceed value. Injuries suck and do happen, you just can’t prevent them. You just have to be in a position of favor and hope that you land his replacement. Sucktitude, i.e see Joe Nathan last year, is just a roster burden and usually drags you down all season because he isn’t someone you can just drop, but he makes it awfully hard to roster. It’s a catch-22, to stat or not to stat. Last year saw an unforgivable 10 closer changes in the first six weeks. That is not something you can pad your roster with enough save-cuffs for. So let’s get to the first set of rankings of the year. I will get into draft strategies for them, and as always, cover holds in the countdown to the season.
Note: Don’t forget to come visit me on the new Razzball Fantasy Soccer home everyday of the week. If you’re not familiar with the format, NBD, relax, you got us. Ralph and I are giving you the best Fantasy Premier League coverage out there. If you haven’t tried fantasy EPL, you’re missing out…Please, blog, may I have some more?
The end of the year is always fun for me when it comes to the race for holds, and the guys getting them. The names that appear on the leaderboard for the last 14 days of games looks like a Dateline special of guys who were abandoned by their actual parents, and just appeared in the majors. For instance, of the top-20 Hold garnerers [Jay’s Note: garnerees? garnerererers? gonorrhea? Eh, let’s just go with garnerers…] over those same last two weeks, only three are in the top-20 for the year (Clippard, Cecil and Watson). On a side note, these are guys for you in dynasty leagues and deeper keeper leagues to pay attention to…. wink-wink. That right there echoes the fact of something, oh I don’t know, two weeks ago, where you should just stream the hell out of RP down the stretch to maximize everything. And by everything, I mean appearance, grooming techniques, hell, it’ll probably allow you to take better pictures to update your Tinder account. Maximize is the name, and maximizing was the game. You see that boat in the distance?… That’s me sailing off into the sunset telling you au revoir, and that I told ya so. I don’t make this stuff up, there are years and years of stats and performance charts that are readily available on the Google machine to prove my point. So with that tangent concluded, here is the last bullpen/hold chart of the year, basically showing you who wins. Sort of. If winning holds is an actual award, that is.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’ll be honest, I really wanted to do a title about Rudy. After having a top-7 pitching week and moving into the top-10 overall, I wanted to kiss some a*s to the other man in charge. It was supposed to be “Rudy Comfortable”, a play on Rudy Huxtable, but then Grey told me to talk about you guys and four girl readers. I obliged and started looking at the top-10 and the player rater to see what they have in common. The top-4 teams, 5 total in top 10, all have Mike Trout and 3 of the top 5 have Jose Abreu. The top two teams have both. Jose Altuve, Todd Frazier, Michael Brantley, and Corey Dickerson are scattered throughout the top ten. In the pitching it’s a little all over the place. One trend I found interesting was in the bullpen where Cody Allen is on 4 teams and Wade Davis is on 3. I’m pointing those two out because they were both solid all year and probably owned all year. Allen being a draft day stash for save savy owners and Davis being a K/9 machine that caught our attention back in April. Take note of this next year. Instead of drafting next season’s Jose Veras, grab a great handcuff with a high K-rate and some faith. I know that’s easier said than done, being that very few MR’s repeat from year to year. Unless your name is Tyler Clippard. There are always themes to successful teams, if you got the first or second pick and drafted Trout your chances of winning increase exponentially, share with us in the comments how your team’s did where you got that sexy fish or any other studs that put you over the top. For the Trout owners you deserve a hat from the man himself.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ah, the stretch run and the second to last Holds post of the year. If your not streaming RP at this point to your advantage, I don’t know what else to tell you but to give me your password, and just get ready for Sunday fundays. It’s not Sunday is it? Because I can’t talk about it with it around, because it slowly consumes me, then beats me, steals all my money, and makes me feel like that time at the water park. Sorry, sidetracked on terrible memories. So Drew Storen has popped up and taken the reigns until Soriano figures out why seven ate nine. I have heard that people are questioning why Tyler Clippard isn’t in there trying to win one for the skipper. It’s easy, but has multiple levels to it. First, you don’t take your best reliever out of the key spot, and that’s setting up and clinching the game for you. Rhis is documented by Clippard dominating in appearances with the lead over the last 30 days. The second is– Storen, who will be awfully expensive next year, while pitching effective, is basically being showcased and used to keep Rafael Soriano from getting his guaranteed 15 million doll hairs next year. You heard me: 15 million. Which becomes guaranteed at 120 games finished, he currentlly sits at 104. The moon landing, JFK, and keeping Rafi Soriano from getting duckets. Conspiracy theories or truth, all I can do is type it… hold on, Oliver Stone is on the phone. Stick around for some snippets of relief pitching lore and a flashy chart made from unicorn tears…Please, blog, may I have some more?
After Rafael Soriano once again looked like his apologetic alter ego, Sorry-yo, Matt Williams said the Nats won’t have a set closer. Let’s backtrack to August 18th, it was a day after the fourth time Soriano had given up runs in the matter of two weeks. At that point, I wrote there was a problem, and I grabbed Drew Storen. That was three weeks ago, and things haven’t gotten better. So, why was I able to spot there was a problem with Soriano three weeks prior to the Nationals manager, Matt Williams? Terrific question. There’s a few possible reasons A) Matt Williams’s Oakleys are worn to shield TV cameras from showing he’s actually asleep. B) Matt Williams can’t find steroids that make him smarter. C) There’s no C. D) In a secret meeting in Bud Selig’s wood-paneled basement in Milwaukee in 1999, Major League Baseball declared that every team must have at least one Mark McGwire. Matt Williams was elected to be Arizona’s Mark McGwire. (Sosa was elected to be the Cubs’ McGwire, which is why he bleached his skin.) The experiment to have a McGwire on every team was a success at first, but soon the players that were elected to be McGwire began to say, “I’m not here to talk about the past,” every time any question was asked. The biggest offender of this was Matt Williams, so, rather than risk being found out, MLB made him the Nats manager. Any of these reasons could be right, but it’s probably D. So, with Soriano in trouble, the Nats could go to Storen, Tyler Clippard or Matt Thornton. My guess is it’ll go in that order, and yesterday Storen got the clean save, helping his case. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball: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?
When you get a little cumin, coriander, curry, power and speed in the same dish, you got a Marte party! Whatever happened to that Next Food Network Star? She disappear with every other one, except Guy Fieri? As Anthony Bourdain aptly said, Fieri is the Poochie of the Food Network. Due to Fieri’s success, they keep trying to sandwich (pardon the word) new personalities onto their network. This past season they awarded a Hee Haw Fieri. Instead of the frosted hair, he had a cowboy hat. We call this show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Farting By The Fire! Any the hoo! Going into yesterday’s game, Starling Marte was tied with George Springer and behind Michael Morse on our Player Rater. To that, The Count would say blah blah blah. Crazy enough, Drew Stubbs was above all of them, and in the top 40 outfielders. By the power of Coors, I pronounce you fantasy worthy. Of course, Marte went 3-for- 4 with his 7th and 8th homers yesterday, so he’ll probably shoot above those aforementioned outfielders. Marte’s a little behind his pace from last year, but I’m going to like him next year for one simple reason: a guy that can hit 12 homers and steal 40 bases is very valuable as long as he doesn’t hit .220. That’s like a manhole in Fantasy Town! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If there was a NBA Jam version for relievers, it would go to the Royals bullpen. They are the hottest team since sliced pimento loaf, and as of this typing, are finding themselves tops in the AL Central. I have said it before and I will say it again– play the hot hand until it slaps you where it shouldn’t. They are led recently and not recently, as in all year, by Wade Davis. Davis, on the year, has been just stellar: 6-2 K rate over 13 and has allowed only 5 ER all year. That my friends is about as robust as the McRib sandwich being not not real rib meat. Over the last two weeks Davis has lead the world in Holds with 7. His subtle sidekick has been a nice mix of Jason Frasor and Kelvin Herrera, both garnering fantasy value in their own way. Frasor notching 2 wins in relief and Herrera grabbing 4 holds for himself… both guys also have the same ERA as Davis during the last 2 weeks. It’s zero, so stop with the guesses. Ride the lightning here as the Royale’s w/o cheese are scorching the universe like a bikini waxing store. Stay tuned for more middle relief haps and slaps.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The deadline will have past by the time you’re reading this, so I’m sorry that I can’t meet or exceed all those expectations. What I can do is give you the in’s and out’s of middle relief. Wait, why did everyone just get up and leave? There is punch and pie at the end! So is everyone else confused on what to do with Will Smith?… yeah, me too. He’s been getting beat up lately needs a vacation. Smith leads the league in appearances, is the leader in appearances with the lead by a non-closer (41), and has pitched an amazing 17 times on consecutive days. He has rewarded you with 19( albeit painful) NSVH, but his recent implosions may lead me to think there could be a better option for the time being. His BB/9 over the last 30 screams bad news, (P.S., it’s in the seven’s). I mean, I know the 24 Holds this year is all good and looks like a Canal St. watch, but if you have someone that just reads stats and doesn’t read between the lines of fantasy too well, see if they give you a name you like better. My best advice is pull a Judas Priest and run for the hills. Stay tuned for some charts and fun words and sentences that lead to abbreviated paragraphs. Good luck in the week to come.Please, blog, may I have some more?