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The trade deadline usually makes a real hash out of bullpens, and this year was no different.  Closers become just ordinary relievers.  Ordinary relievers become closers on teams punting.  Even further down, the holds through the obtuse guys now become a usable commodity.  Fantasy baseball with hold leagues, catch the spirit!  So like I was just saying, we have seen 5-6 teams rip apart their pecking order for hold-dom, and in some cases muddle up the closer order by trade, attrition, or subtraction.  This is a good thing, makes decisions easier.  Aim for guys on teams that are still getting you save opportunities. If you can’t find the stat, always fall back on the standings to guide your waiver wire hand.  Or even more finite, look at that teams W/L record over the last 10 games.  It is no coincidence that the top three teams in save opportunities since the All-Star break have winning records (Dodgers, Mariners, and Blue Jays).  Also, if you haven’t been streaming Holds yet this year, there is no better time than the present.  The list of holds leaders over the last 15 games is littered with names that weren’t even in print by me for the whole year.  So don’t be afraid to roster the unknown rather than a commodity because with the season basically over in six weeks (three if you have playoffs), every one counts and every H2H win counts.  Cheers!

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  • No Miller time for the next week or so.  Gotta hold unfortunately.   Joe Smith is the lateral on same team add, if you need to, move on.
  • Just like I predicted weeks ago, Tommy Hunter leads the majors in Holds the last fortnight with 5.  The Rays are still in the thick of things so he fits into the lede’s chase winner’s not loser’s scenario.
  • If the Royals are leading, they like to get all their useful relievers in the game in order.  Peter Moylan, Mike Minor, Joakim Soria, then the closer.  Team is scrapping together trying to get a Moustakas statue outside the waterfall.  Me personally?  I would want it under the Waterfall.  Cocktail style, with or without Elizabeth Shue.
  • Best thing about Kirby Yates is that his name is freaking Kirby Yates.  Sounds made up like a character from H.R. Pufnstuf.  Has been stellar 15-plus K-rate and 3 holds in 7 appearances.
  • Scouring the stats for a great would be closer next year?  Carl Edwards Jr.  Dude checks every box and Wade davis is a free agent.  Has the lowest batting average against among relievers with 30 plus innings at .119 or basically 17 hits against 143 batters faced.
  • New entry into the SP/RP regime is Asher Wojciechowski, congrats.
  • Sleeper reliever of the week:  Emilio Pagan from Seattle.
Player Holds/BS App with Lead IR Runners/IR Scored
Taylor Rogers 24/3 33 25/4
Adam Ottavino 20/2 29 16/6
Jacob Barnes 19/4 34 10/4
Matthew Bowman 19/3 25 31/5
David Phelps 19/6 34 7/3
Mychal Givens 18/3 27 27/7
Jose Ramirez 18/4 25 12/3
Nick Vincent 18/1 29 17/4
Matt Barnes 17/2 28 12/2
Matt Belisle 17/3 24 23/4
Chris Devenski 17/4 32 30/7
Will Harris 17/2 26 17/6
Ryan Madson 17/3 27 13/2
Juan Nicasio 17/3 31 20/5
Arodys Vizcaino 17/2 23 3/1
Pedro Baez 16/1 27 15/1
Ryan Buchter 16/2 26 12/5
Daniel Hudson 16/2 23 22/7
Carl Edwards 15/1 28 18/4
Jake McGee 15/3 28 21/7
Dellin Betances 14/2 28 17/4
   
  1. ryanoger says:
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    Cishek, Hunter, or David Robertson for holds?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @ryanoger: Hunter

  2. Tank1 says:
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    Smokey, love your weekly article. Have a strategy question. Better approach for holds- 1. Roster the backup to your existing closers (e.g., Strickland/Dyson) or 2. Pick up the best guys available? If option 2 is preferred do you focus on season long stats or just the most recent 14-30 days? Thanks so much.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Tank1: at this point in the season it’s a what have you done for me lately scenario.

  3. Brett says:
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    For holds Kirby Yates or Addison reed?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Brett: I’d say Reed because of more chances

  4. dfrench23 says:
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    Our league counts saves or holds as the 5th category in 5×5 roto.

    Available on WW: T.Rogers, Maurer, JBarnes, Oh, Bowman, Norris, Ottavino, Phelps, Madson, Hunter, Treinen, Biagini, Tazawa, Yates, and Swarzak.

    I have Diaz, SGreene and Knebel. Should I make any add-drops or should I “hold”?? haha

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @dfrench23: that is an impressive list and I’m guessing your league likes saves over holds. I like the three you have but it’s tempting to stream and maximize.

      • dfrench23 says:
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        @Smokey: I think a lot of our guys don’t even know how to see who is getting holds. We have guys that will keep a bad closer with 15 saves over a good setup guy with 20 holds….makes no sense.

        Thanks!

  5. Andy says:
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    Ros ranks, droppable?
    Saves only
    Belise
    Treinen
    Ziegler
    Thanks

    • And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers! says:
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      @Andy: belisle probably, but bearclaw is close.

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