It’s the latin hit show of the 60’s, though technically Gomez was already a Latin name.  Only name that would be fun to mess around with would be Miercoles.  Not only does it sound like a person that I would get an Uber ride from, but I would probably buy incense from.  Never the matter, buy the Willy Adames family is making some comfortable waves in MLB.  Season long stats say he is a middle infielder of the highest order.  Not a stat-stuffer, but a drawer of mismatched socks that you really don’t care about getting right.  Until!  The last 14 days.  When anyone slashes .359/.409/.564, it makes me notice…  You may not have noticed, because you are too busy styling your hair or doing random acts of jaywalking.  For the purpose of life and SAGNOF though, he has 3 steals over his last 12 and anyone that pumps the OBP at a 400 clip is definitely cool with me.  Hell, they can take my sister to her Quinceañera. But to be fair, the joke is on them because she’s almost 50!   Adames, for the rest of this year, is firmly in the grab and hope phase of fantasy.  He has skill at the plate with showing off for the ladies and hitting homers (5) in 161 plate appearances, which for a full season would be 20, which isn’t too awful.  You know how many MI eligible guys have 20 HR potential with 15 plus steal potential?  Quite a few, but that stat potential never gets old, especially at a discount.  So if you are struggling up the middle a grab for an eligible Adames might be he play for some SAGNOF goodies for the time being…

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Join the 2018-19 Razzball Fantasy Premier League for a chance at prizes! Don’t know about Fantasy Soccer? That’s okay, Smokey is here to walk with you throughout this journey of exploration and an absurd amount of accent marks on player names. So probably hide all your snacks. It’ll be a long journey…

Maybe they thought they were safe by bringing Kelvin Herrera as a Linus blanket until Doolittle returned.  Maybe they were comfy with the veterans that they had lined up just in case.  Well that “just in case” just happened.  Herrera is now on the DL and Madson assumes the role of all roles. (Until Sean Doolittle comes back from a stressed out foot.)  The Nats had such promise in preseason and even after the acquisition of Kelvin, to be a good bullpen.  Former closers, like most men, are there to do their job and file their income tax returns on time like big boys.  Well, they disappointed me and definitely the owners of Doolittle.  Since July 3rd, or basically the last time Doolittle pitched, they have four saves.  Four, fore, for!  Only ahead of teams like the Padres, Blue Jays and Angels.  By the way, if you are scoring at home the Angels haven’t had a save in 27 games.  That is actually more mind-blowing than a team with decent starting pitching to only get four whole damn saves.  Makes save-chasing on Madson or the like seem glum.  So save your FAAB bucks for another day because Sean should be back within the fortnight, no idea if he mastered his emote dances yet though.  Not that it really matters, but a save earned is a save kept.  I know that works with pennies, wasn’t sure if that helped with counting stats at all.  The season is coming down the stretch, do you have what it takes oh glutens of the SAGNOF?  If you feel weary or just on cruise control because of Fantasy Football, than relax take a gander on some useful bullpen stuff, followed by the rankings…

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Join the 2018-19 Razzball Fantasy Premier League for a chance at prizes! Don’t know about Fantasy Soccer? That’s okay, Smokey is here to walk with you throughout this journey of exploration and an absurd amount of accent marks on player names. So probably hide all your snacks. It’ll be a long journey…

Ah, words.  It is funny how the simplest play on words could lead to such stupid humor.  Because on one hand, Mallex Smith could be an exotic dancer… on the basepaths, and the other?  Well, we know the implication.  Either way, in his artistry it can only be called one thing:  SAGNOF sexy.  The base-stealing profession hasn’t been the most flourishing business, with the price of liquor licenses and the growing deficit of accumulation on the stat.  It is a dying business.  One that allows you to jump all nimbly-pimbly from steal branch to steal branch.  When looking at steals, especially in the SAGNOF world, I try to break them down into a two week stretch.  I look for who is getting the at-bats, who is getting on base, and of course who is actually stealing bases.  Over that 14 game stretch, Mallex is doing all three.  He is getting at-bats, and not all from the leadoff spot either.  ( He’s getting on base at a .528 clip, with a BB% of 13%.)  These numbers are all the dream scenario for a SAGNOF savior for a week or three.  Steals?  Well, he stole more bases (6) than everyone in baseball not named Jose Ramirez or Whit Merrifield. The joyous thing about this, is that the Rays are basically punting but not actually trying to lose.  So the at-bats and opportunities will and should continue.  As with most saviors of the theft, counting stats are going to be spotty and the one thing you can count on slightly are runs scored, but in smaller comparisons, because… well, the Rays don’t score a ton.  So if you are on the lookout for a few here and few there steals, then Mallex is your boy for the next few games, or even a week.  But don’t fall in love, because he will break your heart by Labor Day.  Cheers!

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Just for reference, as I was out and about, the “cult” classic by Lisa Lisa was on.  Now you can admit it or you can lie about it, but if you hear this song on in the privacy of your own aloneness, and you turn the radio up.  I’m sorry but it’s true.  If not, it is completely just me and I have some severe music intangible listening ability that is slightly off.  Where was I?  Bullpens you say, bullpens I say.  The first real bullpen post after the trade deadline is always a tough tell.  The good contending teams basically stack up the depth of their pens and make the most unique and usable reliever an after thought, or a “questionable” own in holds leagues.  I hate that this happens, because you roll along all season with a set it and forget it holds option and poof, they go to a contender and now are fourth fiddle.  And nobody remembers the fourth fiddler in the Charlie Daniels’ band.  If you do, climb out the basement and stare at the sun awhile, you two have missed each other’s company.  So if you are sitting on names that changed to a contender that are now tertiary in line for a hold, move on.  Grab a first-chair guy maybe on a lesser team, or even from that guys old team.  This time of the year, if trying to capitalize on the utmost hold capabilities, there can be no allegiances.  No saluting your past accumulation and move on.  I am adding in a chart this week that shows holds and chances for the last 30 days to lessen the load on your research ability.  After all it’s Friday, you ain’t got no job, why not stay and hang out with Smokey?

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Join the 2018-19 Razzball Fantasy Premier League for a chance at prizes! Don’t know about Fantasy Soccer? That’s okay, Smokey is here to walk with you throughout this journey of exploration and an absurd amount of accent marks on player names. So probably hide all your snacks. It’ll be a long journey…

Comparing one Elvis iconic season to another is like comparing movies by the icon himself.  SO last season was an unexpected masterpiece, filled with upside from a low risk pick that turned into a 20/20 season.  We will call that on King Creole.  You got value from it, enjoyed it and were hoping for a repeat performance coming into this year.  Welp, you aren’t getting it.  The injuries have limited Andrus to just 45 games and about as underwhelming performance that that a 4 homer 4 steal campaign can bring ya.  This is the Harum Scarum season, that when you draft someone like an Elvis Andrus you can get.  There is no surprise to his game, we have been burned by players of his caliber before, and to be quite honest, burned by him after.  So sitting and holding a basket full of Andrus doesn’t do much for me moving forward.  I wish it did, because middle infielders with 20/20 seasons are special.  Heck, Trea Turner is on pace for one and given his first round draft grade by a lot of experts and the drafting of him by all the believers…  His 13/24 season is not what we expected, and it all goes back to the unpredictableness of injuries.  Can call, if you did you would be doing something more productive than searching for SAGNOF glory.  You would be in a room with no windows thinking of new ideas for Elon Musk.  So today’s SAGNOF piece of advice is another “bury the old steal stat” wit of wisdom.  Strive to be middle of the pack in steals, get accumulators, not dominators.  Too much high draft pick risk and a fall flat on your face risk.  More SAGNOF love in a bit.  Cheers!

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The trading deadline is days away and the roles they are a changing.  In comes one out goes the other.  Closers losing value left and right while the waiver wire warriors of the world are circling like buzzards for the SAGNOF scrap heaps. The latest in the foray of closers to go is Joakim Soria, now a Brewer.  The White Sox closer role is likely to go to Jace Fry or Juan Minaya.  Not an awesome situation or a good predicament to be in, but a closer is a closer.  The SAGNOF model should be: “Leave no good save behind”.   Similarly, the Orioles traded Zach Britton to the Evil Empire, Brad Brach assumes the role there for the time being or until he gets traded for assets that the Orioles can ruin.  The trade winds and finalized deals don’t help the set-up man either, as key components to the back-end game have been replaced by acquired talent.  This is life for the ever building bullpen foundation of playoff contending teams.  Build from the back, because the girth of talent that exists in the starters just isn’t there. So if you are currently zonked from losing a closer that no longer has a professional job of closing, it is time to speculate where speculating looks speculative.  Look at guys on the secondary for teams that are rumored to be wheelin’ and dealin’.  The Rangers, Nationals, Twins, Rays, Tigers, and to a lesser degree maybe the Cardinals… Be ahead of the curve instead of being caught looking at Uncle Charlie.  Closer news is fluid this time of year, and by the time this gets posted there could be 2-3 more trades that make me look even dumber than I already do.  More after the jump, with success stories and diminishing returns.  Cheers!

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Can’t you smell that smell?  Running through the annals of quotable things related to smell, you get the usual “Can you smell what the Rock is cooking?” and “Who farted?”.  Now just make Rougned Odor into a full draw out sentence and he enters the fray of quotable goodness for fantasy.  Not as catchy, but Odor has had his shortcomings through the past two years and basically been put on fantasy leave alone island.  But it is post All Star break and forgiving is in the air.  Starting fresh, no former history and since he is a pox on some people’s fantasy list, we gotta keep it recent…  So over the last month of affairs, he has 5 homers and 7 steals.  In SAGNOF-ville that is giant news for someone who may be a scrap pile pick-up, and if you picked him up before reading this, kudos to you and your foresight.  In the world of SAGNOF we need the results or we move on, and with 7 steals in a month, that is a sustainable amount of fantasy feedback to keep committed to him.  Slashing .300/.378/.488 during that time is fantastic for him, and mostly because of the OBP.  But the overwhelming stat that jumps out to me right now is his walk rate during that time. His career rate before this was 4.5%, the last 30 games he’s at 7.2%.  Drastic baby steps, if that is such a thing.  Like I said, SAGNOF is about dribs and drabs of stealing from the waiver wire and making it your own.  Well Odor is making a second half case to be involved in all the school gatherings, PTA meetings, and heck, even the Brownies.  So if you are in search of some steals and power combo from a middle infidel spot, Odor may just be your dude.  More SAGNOF charts and quips to follow.  Cheers!

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You know what is fun this time of year?  The bullpen shuffle.  Whomever is closest to the computer or phone wins the waiver game in most cases.  Well… that’s now the case with the Padres with the trade of Brad Hand to the Indians.  The waiver wire is set ablaze for one Kirby Yates, but is he the guy forever, or the guy for now?  I am leaning that the trade door in San Diego is gonna revolve one more time and see Yates come out the other side a bullpen piece rather than a closing man.  Hand’s still a valuable commodity, granted he won’t be a full-time closer with the Tribe, but his peripherals and Cody Allen‘s shakiness as of late… will lead to a “sometimes” situation.  Hand is a hold in all leagues because he should get a shot for every third save or so with his new club.  Add in the K-rate over 13 and he has intrigue that only a dozen or so non-closers have. Back to Yates though, since this is the afternoon post and Grey has gone over it this morning and most likely will after this in his buy post, but Yates has value for now.  In fact, he’s had value for most of the year in holds leagues, with a 11+ K/9 and a ton of success in the setup game in the reliever farm known as the Whale’s Vagina. So why am I so hesitant to give him the go?  He is a journeyman reliever whose value is never going to be higher than right now, or in eight days with some saves to his name.  So if you swung and missed at the waiver wire add for saves with Yates, grab Craig Stammen for free and just wait.  Waiting is always a good thing, especially with a maybe-closer in the making, albeit one with not much quantity potential.  More bullpen goodies and post all star tidbits after the bump.  Cheers!

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For those of you looking for the “Aretha Friends and Family” talk channel, I am not going to say you are in the wrong place, but before you go, what the heck does TCB mean in the damn song?  Because there is no way it means “takin care of business”.  But anyways, thanks for coming and you can now leave as this geek-dom is full on extra for the ROS closer rankings. The ROS rankings are important…  Just like every other ROS stuff, because anything said purely as an acronym is full on important.  Just ask the government. So the rest of season closer rankings are more dictated on who is losing their jobs rather than who will continue TCB.  This rankings will not include corns, overpriced salads or freezes, just straight cold hard facts about who I think will be traded, demoted or basically just suck the rest of the year. Short, sweet, and to the point.  So if you were looking for some long didactic look at how closers will be the plight of your fantasy season because of X, Y and Z, you aren’t getting it.  Rankings 1-30ish.  Period, send it to the print shop.  Cheers!

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The only way to compare things is to look in the past and see how we match up to the year previous.  For pace reasons, for setting your mind at ease, and to basically not bore you to death, I am only going back one year because I have gone over the decline of the ever loved “stolen base” as a cumulative stat.  So in 2017 through the first 81 games of the season,  (roughly… because every team plays different amounts of games) there were a combine 1,405 steals by all MLB teams. In 2018, we currently sit at 1,310.  Now remember games for AL teams are off a bit, but still, we are sitting at 95 stolen bases fewer than the year previous.  That is an eye catching number, even when you break it into a smaller number like percentages it still sucks for the SAGNOF love.  Just to delve into it further, there were three players with 30-plus steals and three above 20 steals at the All Star break last year.  (With the leader, Billy Hamilton garnering 38.)  This year, there are only six players above 20, and none above current theft leader Michael Taylor with 23.  The downward trend, the going away from using the steal as an asset in fantasy is a dying trend that we are lucky to be apart of from a draft usability standpoint.  I am more of a “see what I know baseball guy” rather than a number cruncher, but nobody uses the steal effectively to set the pace of a game anymore.  Now for fantasy it sucks that we are mimicking real life, as a grab the best players to accumulate stats to fill our rosters mentality is the M.O., but I would be interested to see how your league standings are reflecting this downward trend in steals and how much the league leader in the category has, and if you think it is worth chasing as a catch up stat for the second half of the year.  So give me some feedback, and here’s some charts of catchers to steal on and pitchers to exploit.  Cheers!

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