Even being 1/10th of the way through the season, it is never too early to see some trends forming.  The trends I am learning you about are the bullpen usage rates.  Not every team follows an A to B to C type formulas, and it would be nice, but usage rates in certain situations, even 15 games into the season, peak their heads out for fantasy usefulness.  The ancillary stats that no one really notices, and that I use all year, are runners inherited and appearances with the lead.  All key factors for what a reliever is and what they are at sustaining.  The inherited runners stat is a ruiner, not only for themselves but for the pitchers they are replacing.  Basically a sad trombone in the case of reliever sad trombones.  The appearances with the lead factor is what we all eat our Holds and gravy with.  It basically says that they are pitching with a lead, granted, holds are scored the same as a save.  So all that less than four runs runner on deck shenanigans that people made up for it to qualify.  So welcome to the first Holds/bullpens post of the year as we embark on a road far less traveled then it should.  Holds matter, regardless of color.

  • I love me some Astros bullpeners.  Will Harris is the boss, Gregerson is the Don of Holds and Chris Devenski is thinking of multi-inning Holds.  He has crazy K-rates and is basically behind the Giles/Harris/Gregerson trio.  Only caveat is that he doesn’t pitch on back-to-back days and probably won’t.  For leagues looking to capitalize on the 12-plus K/9 rate, you need to time his appearances.  Right now, it’s every third game and a win vulture.
  • The Rox playing some good ball leads to goodies from the bullpen.  Incumbent closer before the Holland signing, Adam Ottavino, has the lead early on with 7 Holds in 8 appearances.  No complaints in other categories, K’s are there and so everything else is tidy.  Should be rostered most everywhere, but go check no Holds leagues.
  • Sneaky holds are what makes the world go round, so does sexy effectiveness out of the pen.  The Brew-ha-ha’s feature two right now.  Jacob Barnes for my money looks the better of any reliever in the Milwaukee pen, but Corey Knebel is getting more leverage situations.  Both are decent adds all around with K-rates at plus per inning.
  • Quick name the best reliever in the Cardinals bullpen. Nope.  Nope not Rosey either.  It’s easily Matthew Bowman.  He looks a little bit like Lincecum and a lot like dog the bounty hunter.  I know it’s early but Siegrist owners can ping pong around to someone with a higher K rate then 4 …yikes.
  • Sleeper holds guy for the week, check out Tommy Kahnle.  Dude winds up and throws it hard.  His name has bounced around a bit in past years, but looks to be establishing himself behind Jones, Robertson as the next RH.
Player Holds/BS App with Lead IR Runners/IR Scored
Adam Ottavino  7/1 8 3/1
Brad Brach 5/0 6 0/0
Heath Hembree 5/0 5 5/2
Mike Dunn 5/0 5 4/1
Corey Knebel  5/1 7 3/2
Felipe Rivero 5/0 5 2/1
Pedro Strop 4/1 5 2/1
Justin Wilson 4/0 7 4/1
Luke Gregerson 4/1 7 0/0
Carlos Torres 4/1 6 0/0
Jacob Barnes 4/0 5 1/0
Daniel Hudson 4/0 4 2/2
Matthew Bowman 4/0 9 9/2
Danny Farquhar 4/0 5 2/0
Arodys Vizcaino 3/1 4 0/0
Jose Ramirez 3/1 4 4/0
Matt Barnes 3/0 5 4/2
Carlos Estevez   3/0 4 4/1
Alex Wilson 3/1 6 3/2
Fernando Salas 3/1 6 3/0

 

 

 

42 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Brett
Brett
5 years ago

Smokey

Zona hasn’t had much opportunity but who is there 8th inning guy for holds? You think it’s Bradley?

The Harrow
The Harrow
Reply to  Brett
5 years ago

@Brett: george of the roses and hoover lately. surprising hoover is having a very good year.

Alan
Alan
5 years ago

How does Knebel get Ks without a big swinging strikeout rate?

Christopher Sherwin
Christopher Sherwin
5 years ago

Aye Smoke

Hurting bad in holds, looking for a guy to be able to plug into a SP spot to vulture some holds (Phelps I found the hard way is NOT that guy)

Any of these guys worth owning?

Tyler Duffey
Jorge De La Liva La Rosa
Shane Greene
Archie Bradley
Ross Stripling
Juan Nicasio

If so, who would you drop, Madson, Knebel, Hembree, Storen, Strickland

Also one final question, what do you see Bearclaw’s value at right now, what type of SP range would you think to offer for him?

Thanks as always much appreciated!

Chris
Chris
5 years ago

Dynasty- would you trade archer for Jose abreau? My first baseman is bird

Brett
Brett
5 years ago

Smokey, Hope you had a great vaca. 2 questions.

1. 12 team daily roster moves league with holds as a category and saves as a category. Current relievers are Bradley, Bush, Giles, Neris and Benoit. (Bradley’s SP eligibility is very valuable). Would you cut Benoit for Kelley or keep him so I have both the Philly pitchers to ensure the closer and the holds guy for the time being.

2. You concerned with Harris pitching the 7th that his holds could be limited this year? I had him as top 5 holds guy thinking he would pitch the 8th.

Thanks

J-Hova
J-Hova
5 years ago

Smokey, any chance you can get hired full time and run a Holdalsanator tool??

You can never have too many closers but Bush getting saves oops hurts my holds. I have the and Harris. I was handcuffing Kimbrel with Joe Kelly but need to stream that spot for holds moving forward. In your opinion is that he right move? Thanks Smokey, incredibly informative article as usual!

J-Hova
J-Hova
Reply to  Smokey
5 years ago

@Smokey:

awesome! I’ll take you up on that. Thanks!

Organigram Dan the Met Fan
Organigram Dan the Met Fan
5 years ago

Hey Smokey, Kahne is availible in my 16 teamer H2H dynasty league. I love his K rate but no idea who to drop… can you help me decise what to do? Here is my roster, who is the drop if any?

C Salvador Perez, KC C
1B Paul Goldschmidt, Ari 1B
2B Jose Altuve, Hou 2B
3B Kris Bryant, ChC 3B, LF
SS Jonathan Villar, Mil SS, 2B, 3B
CF Charlie Blackmon, Col CF
OF Nomar Mazara, Tex RF, LF
OF Brandon Drury, Ari 3B, 2B, LF, RF
OF Mitch Haniger, Sea CF, RF
UTIL Jorge Polanco, Min SS
UTIL Adam Frazier, Pit LF
Bench Yoenis Cespedes, NYM LF, CF  DTD
Bench Yunel Escobar, LAA 3B  DTD
Bench Matt Davidson, CWS DH
Bench Robbie Grossman, Min LF, DH
DL J.D. Martinez*, Det RF  DL10

PITCHERS

P Kyle Barraclough, Mia RP
P Mychal Givens, Bal RP
P Heath Hembree, Bos RP
SP Jake Arrieta, ChC SP PP
SP Jacob deGrom, NYM SP  DTD PP
SP James Paxton, Sea SP
SP Lance McCullers Jr., Hou SP
RP Wade Davis, ChC RP
RP Addison Reed, NYM RP
RP Cam Bedrosian, LAA RP
RP Greg Holland, Col RP
Bench Zack Greinke, Ari SP
Bench Aaron Nola, Phi SP
Bench Chad Kuhl, Pit SP
Bench Brandon McCarthy, LAD RP, SP
Bench Trevor Cahill, SD RP
Bench Jordan Montgomery, NYY SP
DL Tyson Ross*, Tex SP  DL10
DL Shae Simmons*, Sea RP  DL10

Fausto
Fausto
5 years ago

18 Team ROTO and Im sagnof chasing and would be in 1st place had i not lost britton to the DL( the first yr i paid big $ for a closer because of the RP-ocalypse that i saw coming with bullpen drama) any way best bet add for saves going forward..(Kela(TX), J. Jiminez(Det), Barnes(Mil)…like i said its an 18tm so SLIM PICKING.
Thoughts and thanks.. appreciate the work.

JakeTPE
JakeTPE
5 years ago

Hey Smokey,

Great to see your post, sir.

So, I came out of the draft with Siegrist and Bush so I have like one Hold all year. It’s frustrating.

I know the trick is to be patient as teams’ situations and results change week to week, but I’ve had no luck this year.

Can you give me your top 2 of this list for Holds?

Barraclough (rostered), Dull (rostered), Hudson, Bowman, Torres, Shaw, Edwards Jr, Rzepczynski…

I’m thinking swap Bowman in for Barraclough and ride Dull for a bit longer (W and HD past two games).

Thanks!

JakeTPE
JakeTPE
Reply to  Smokey
5 years ago

@Smokey: Bowman FTW! Thanks, Smokey.

Racehorse
Racehorse
5 years ago

Smoke –

Great timing on your part! Long day at the j-o-b for me so I haven’t had a chance to read your post closely, but I will be sure to check out your words of wisdom later this weekend.

16 team dynasty mixer with saves and holds …

I’m looking for the highest ceiling … Please rank Koda Glover (dropped by an impatient owner who dislikes Dusty Baker), Matt Strahm, Joe Jimenez.

Thanks!

Wacha Wacha
Wacha Wacha
5 years ago

I have had D Phelps in one of my SP slots all year in my 10 team h2h with s+h hoping to get some extra holds. Do you think he is worth owning or am I better off just dropping him for a SP?

Thanks for the input!

Gonzo_The_Great
Gonzo_The_Great
5 years ago

Is Hembree a real option for holds? I’m so confused by relievers this year. Other available options with similar SV/HLD totals in my league are Knebbel and Torres.

SheriffMcRawDawg
SheriffMcRawDawg
5 years ago

Still owe you for the Jose Ramirez call man. Love it.

Do you think Salas stays relevant with Familia coming back? Everyone moving down + Blevins worries me for holds.

Also – do you think Knebel still is 2nd in line to Feliz if and when he falters? have knebel and feliz in NFBC so definitely sweating Barnes

Thanks mang

My Seven Rizzos
My Seven Rizzos
5 years ago

Hey Smokey! I’m in a 12 team points league, owning Devenksi. Guy is picking up more points than a handful of my hitters!

Anyway, another RP like that is, Justin Wilson. Thoughts on him producing in a points league?

Would you drop…. Gurriel for him?

My Seven Rizzos
My Seven Rizzos
Reply to  Smokey
5 years ago

@Smokey: Good call, thanks. Ok, so I can drop Gurriel or Mancini for Justin Wilson or Joe Jimenez…. who would you grab?

hand a great weekend amigo!

Grey
Admin
5 years ago

Welcome back, Smokey! Happy birthday!

Five-On-One
Five-On-One
5 years ago

Hey – missed your posts, Smokeman. Hope all is good. that is all.

Swfcdan
Swfcdan
5 years ago

Thank god, couldn’t come soon enough!

A) Barnes getting the save last night shows high leverage no. I’m not a Felizer, Barnes or evil Knebel for the stash?

B) OH’s looked shaky hasn’t he. You think Bowman’s next in line then, he a better stash than even the Brewers combo above?

C)

D) I dropped Kelley about a week ago thinking Treinen was the guy….now someone with a high priority claimed him…eff me closers! At least tell me he’ll split the job and be out by mid-season when they trade for a closer right?

E) At least I got Bush! You think as long as he’s pitching well/healthy he’ll remain the man? Have to think injury is the bigger of the concerns, stuff is downright dirty.

Swfcdan
Swfcdan
Reply to  Swfcdan
5 years ago

@Swfcdan: Oh and 2 best options out of these holders:

J Ramirez, A Wilson, Leclerc, Duffey, Jeffress, C Torres, B Treinen

HAGNOF!

Thanks!

Swfcdan
Swfcdan
Reply to  Smokey
5 years ago

@Smokey: Thanks. Not sure what the Sawx has anything to do with Barnes or Knebel in MIL though!

Lastly want to pick up T Duffey (I know but he’s been decent in the pen) to use in a SP slot in my H2H which counts holds. Would you rather drop Treinen, Jeffress, or LeClerk (been dirty!)? We could saves as another cat, so that’s why I’m hesitant to drop Jeffress right now/

The Harrow
The Harrow
Reply to  Swfcdan
5 years ago

@Swfcdan: treinen or leclerc (but at least the 2nd is doing well), so treinen. the answer is in that sentence too, don’t trick yourself. that being said MIN’s moved duffey around, sometimes in good holds spots (some times multi inning ones) other times he’s behind rogers/pressly. pressly has been pretty yuck though.