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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Welcome to the bi-monthly look at nose picking.  Nah, I am obviously talking about bullpens, because they usually come in second to the nose goblins anyways.  Lots of people always ask me: How do you shuffle between holds guys and get an effective return?  First off, if you wanna surf the waiver trend and stream the hell out of relievers for holds purposes, you gotta be aware that you can’t be afraid to let your ratios go to pot.  Not like move to Colorado and play Bohemian drums and stuff, just the trends that I have encountered and noticed is that with the quantity in holds there comes a slight tick to ERA and WHIP.  Not an awful turn of events, if you you have sufficient starters that hold down the metrics.  I don’t even know if metrics was the right word there, but I just saw a commercial for a tutoring service for kids… ummm, its summer.  So back to the picking a winner lede discussion…  When in doubt, pick a winner, four of the top-five hold accumulating teams are in first place.  Six out of the top-10.  I wish I can make the cliche statement that bullpens win games and have it be unique and quirky and new, but quality bullpens don’t not hurt your teams chance at winning. So if you are looking at streaming or even in the business for flip-flopping relievers in this high holy season of the All Star break, ask yourself two questions; how has he done over the last two weeks, and is his team scoring enough runs for the quantity?  Because any good reliever needs to be worth the squeeze.  And it doesn’t hurt to be a front-running team.  So choose wisely, and for all intents and purposes hit me up.  Never hurts to ask the guy who sleeps in bullpen pajamas.  More bits of tid after the jump, cheers!

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Turnarounds midseason are the waiver wire wet dreams that we all hope for.  Now add in that they are included in one of the most prolific hitting offenses. Now, throw some salt on it and say that he is going to play everyday because of spectacular defense (which I have preached before).  That player is Jackie Bradley Jr..  Yeah, I get that his season long stats are pretty much garbage and as a whole have been not rosterable in most 12-team or lesser formats… but (and there is a always a but),  he has started to come out of his shell and is profiling more of the .270 hitter based on deeper stats, including the last 10 games of actual functioning stats that he has produced.  His hard hit rate over the last 14 games played is higher than Just Dong, Mookie and any other Red Sox batter you wanna throw in my direction.  That 51.6% during that span is in the same conversation league wide as some legitimate fantasy heavyweights and in the top-20 overall during that time frame.  Now I get that this is the SAGNOF post, but we are getting to that… he has 2 steals in 11 games, but with more there to come with increased OBP over the last month, higher BB % and since he has hit over .400 for nearly 11 games played, that’ll only help his SB totals. So if JBJ is sitting on waivers, filter out the stats and look at a shorter time frame before you throw some shade on the Red Sox defensive dynamo.  More SAGNOF love and goodies for all things saves and steals after the jump.  Happy Independence day, cheers!

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The closer cavalcade of debauchery is well in season.  Rewind four months ago and look at your team…  If you drafted Jeurys Familia, Alex Colome and Bobby Osuna, you probably came out of the draft smiling like a freshly picked peach.  Now you look at your team today for the first time in a month, because you most likely let the ship sail on the season because of injury, attrition or trades to your bullpen.  The last two names have been done ad nauseum by me and other bullpen savants around the web…  So now we look at Jeurys Familia.  Or a tale of losing a job do to injury, returning, and basically sucking all the trust out of even owning him.  From the beginning of the season until June 7th when he went on the DL, he posted good numbers by Donkeycorn standards; 14 saves with K/9 rate above 10 and ERA of 2.48 and a BAA of .245.  All within the strain of imagination as a set it and forget it closer.  Now we sit here on June 29th, and in six appearances since, he still sits at the same save total of 14, K/9 of 6.35, ERA of 9.53 and BAA of .357.  Now, I am no math whiz, hell I am barely even knowledgeable about what actually is cheese whiz, but those numbers are awful and garbage.  Add in the fact that the Mets as a team are in the toilet, have fired their GM, and have a worse record than the punting from day one Marlins….  Trade-value wise, he has zero in fantasy and almost in real life, because teams aren’t going to trade for a guy who can’t get outs. As an impending free agent, he should and will be traded, maybe to a team that has an opening in middle relief, but I don’t see him gaining closer status for the near future with the Mets or another team.  So if you are a Familia owner and holding out hope for some sort of revert to the former here, I am unfortunately going to tell you that he gets less than 5 saves the rest of the year it looks like. More closer news and views, read on or don’t.  I will continue to sit by the pool regardless!

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From this day forward, or rather more bluntly on days when I have had too much of Grandpa’s wowwie sauce, it gets a little obscure.  And this week by obscure I am talking about John Cusack movies.  The cult 80’s classic movie Better Off Dead to be exact.  Where we all wanna know where my two dollars is.  Much like that movie, the Myer that we are all hoping and rooting for to defeat the preppy d-bags is Kevin Kiermaier.  Recently returned from a DL stint that lasted too long in my humble K.K. loving opinion.  The thing I tend to love about Kevin is that he is going to play every single day.  Why you ask?  Because he is an elite defender in centerfield.  That my friends wins hearts and minds and cures all ills in real baseball.  Unfortunately for fantasy baseball, we need results to warrant consideration for lineup-hood. While he doesn’t boast Hamilton type speed, he does have three consecutive 10/15 seasons under his belt.  Like I said, it’s not elite by any stretch of the imagination, but to be honest, this whole Lane Myer/Kevin Kiermaier lede title thing was a stretch.  But still, 10/15 seasons don’t come stumbling in the bar every night with the take me home pumps and no drink necessary dress on.  The waiver wire is a place for throwbacks and what-ifs.  So that is where I am telling you to look.  If K.K. is there, grab him up, make him wifey material for the rest of this year and watch the 80 plus games he plays out the rest of the year develop into a 10/10 season.  Not great, once again.  I know I sound like a drunken broken record but everyday at bats are the sex panther for good SAGNOF returns.  Here comes some more tidbits of SAGNOF-dom and maybe some cool little pop-up pictures for the slower reading crowd.  Cheers!

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The news that Hunter Strickland has fallen down and needs a time out for punching a door has sent a reliever ripple effect down the closer ranks.  Since this is the Holds week and this is the most pertinent info going, I figured we would roll with anyways.  So roll with the suspenseful animation of holds love and glory for a little bit, and while you are at it, temper your expectations of reliever-dom as we dive into the Giants reliever sitch.  So Strickland got all mad, punched a door, broke his hand.  The Giants are not short of ex-closers that have had time in the limelight.  Sam Dyson gets the first look as expected, because Mark Melancon is not ready for prime time… yet. Dyson got the first save chance, nice!  Smooth sailing.  Then on Thursday?  Yaks up 2 runs and gets yanked for a guy I just brought to light in Reyes Moronta.  The story isn’t that intriguing as I wish there was some Usual Suspects twist where Mark Melancon was Bruce Bochy all along and he just uses the nickname ‘Verbal’  from his me-ma.  Dyson seems to be the guy, until the trust level is at a reasonable level of fortitude for the previous 52 million dollar man in Melancon.  The Giants aren’t going anywhere fast, so involving assets of tradeability like MM and Dyson are a boon to not only your fantasy team, but real life baseball.  So the Giants may start to implore an Oprah approach to saves.  You get a save, and you get a save, and you get a save!  The save chase is great and fun until you are on the losing end of it.  So enjoy the stat heist that you may have with Dyson, soon to be Melancon, and eventually everyone.  More saves and holds goodies after the bump.  Cheers!

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It’s a song as old as time…  When a team is just not good, see what the younger players have to offer.  The Royals are no different in this approach right now as they sit on a whole 22 wins and a crisp 23 games behind the division leading Astros.  They are going to be making a slew of changes, and that has already started with the promotion of Adalberto Mondesi and Rosell Herrera.  Small intricate parts, but that is what SAGNOF is capitalizing on opportunities for at-bats.  With the injury to Jorge Soler, the trade of John Jay and the maybe a few days off for Whit Merrifield, the one-to-two day commitment for guys that will get semi-regular at bats like Mondesi, who had 10 steals in the minors or Herrera who has had three 20 plus stolen base seasons in the minors. The Royals are just the first team to be looking toward the future, as they should be.  Because this season looks like a wash for real baseball, but for fake baseball there will still be pickings to choose from, especially from the SAGNOF perspective.  In the upcoming weeks, we will know who is a pretender and more teams will follow suit, (cough, cough ORIOLES).  But until then, look for guys replacing players on rebuilds, or even youngsters that are up to make a name for themselves in the stead of an injured player.  More SAGNOF goodies to follow my friends, stick around.  Cheers!

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Tis that season!  Whether you are a football fan or not, and not that football fan…  Though the crew over on that football site do an amazing fantasy job.  So for the few of you that aren’t totally dizzy by my words of soccer, then let’s roll baseball into soccer and let the fantasy good times roll.  So for the next month the world, not ‘Mericas, will be casting its gaze on the beautiful game.  So while half the population is watching futbol, you can expand your bullpen horizons and deepen your reliever core.  The trade winds for relievers are already blowing and with just over a month to go before the trade deadline, grabbing the relievers that are secondary or even tertiary now (ones that won’t kill your rates) are all the rage with millennials AND baby boomers.  Situations to monitor and use to your advantage?  The Padres, Royals, and Tigers.  We all own the closer likes of Brad Hand, Kelvin Herrera, and Shane Greene.  But what are the ownership rights to Craig Stammen, Kirby Yates, Kevin McCarthy, and Joe Jimenez?  Way slimmer.  And combined like Voltron, their ownership for all four of those secondary relievers is less than one closer.  So basically free.  The key to mid-season closer acquisitions is being first.  Save that beloved FAAB kitty and be early rather than later.  So if you are looking at your roster, it was rhetorical… I know you are, get rid of that sixth SP or that bench bat that does nothing and play the reliever wait game.  Save now to help later.  Cheers!

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Afterthoughts on draft day, or sleepers that only the select few stick with for SAGNOF?  The realm of SAGNOF rotates around the perplexity for steals and the hotness of said player when garnering the stat.  Leonys Martin is one of those guys this week that I’ll be focusing on.  Draft season, he was an afterthought… or was he a deep sleeper?  Being drafted in the 400’s overall and basically being drafted around Lonnie Chisenhall.  Which if we are all paying attention, is good for you,  but bad in terms of name value to stat value ratio currently.  Over the last 13 games, Martin has been unleashed, scoring 12 runs, swiping 4 and slashing a very unusual Martin line of .294/.379/.647.  For someone who’s career slash line is a fraction of said mark, the small sample size for the mini-fortnight breakout is welcoming.  He was a stolen base darling… four years ago and now that he has been given a chance to shine at the top of the Tigers lineup in front of quality hitters like Castellanos and the like, is this a growing SAGNOF trend that we can buy into?  I am saying yes on the short term, long term?  We know what Leonys is.  He is a .250 hitter with questionable on-base potential that has two feet and can run effectively given time and consistency.  If he is lying around in your league on the waiver wire, give him a shot as the Tigers do score some runs and the lineup behind him has shown some decent skills at moving runners over and doing all the things needed for Martin to be successful in the short term. More SAGNOF-dom charts and tidbits after the jump!

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Choosing the right closer is hard enough when there is only one to choose on draft day.  Tons of factors to guide your hand…  Jump forward 50-plus games and when the situation has multiple faces and not a ton of situations from which to choose: is it worth the squeeze?  The White Sox closer situation has gone from one, to a few, and back again multiple times this year, and now it has swung back to Joakim Soria after garnering the last two saves.  The conundrum here is that Nate Jones had gotten the previous three save chances.  Than if you scroll the calendar even farther, Jace Fry got a save and retread Bruce Rondon also factored in on one occasion in mid-May.  So with a team that only has 13 saves all year, better than only one other team, the Marlins (who are a complete and utter disaster for saves). So when chasing saves, and we all do it, even you, the guy who can’t make eye contact way in the back…  It is part of the FAAB chase and the most alluring I might add and frequent drain of funds. So with a team that has flip-flopped three times in 50 games, with 13 saves and on pace for a MLB bottom-three in save chances, is it worth the headache of this guy or that guy?  I wanna root for the Mexecutioner, and some guy named Nate, but they are basically like part-time lovers, and I would rather stream the spot with great counting stats that matter.  Soria’s K/9 is in the mid-10’s which is admirable, but on a game-to-game basis, the save chase comes down to volume, not the here and now.  Yes, Soria should be owned, and yes Jones should be owned.  But I am just bringing this up for your sake of saves hope.  If you can pair either one of them at the right time, obviously when they are on a hot streak of two saves in 10 days, do so and upgrade your save booty.  Advice over, bits of tid to follow.  Cheers!

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