No, you haven’t stumbled onto a WebMd bait page. Well… this is an advisory blog, none the same, but we won’t scare you into believing that you have clinical depression with every symptom. I mean, I’ve seen some other fantasy sites that attempt to advise on bullpen strategy. It’s easy to throw stuff up about closers and bullpens and say this guy will fail because of this and that. Heck, I like watching Jeopardy and guessing at the stuff I don’t know about either. Add in the fact that I remember my first beer… So this is one of the last pieces of the fantasy bullpen puzzle before we get down to brass tacks. The NSVH question… I always get it from the fantasy inspectors of the net of how and what to do about it. Do I stick with what I know, or do I go complete rover and draft whatever, whenever? That’s why I am here, hopefully to quell all ills in the race for bullpen dominance. The NSVH leagues are tricky and can be described as: people don’t know until they have to know. I know that really isn’t a draft strategy that I am going to “learn” you with this post, since I am better than that and take pride in leading my disciples into reliever bliss. So go get a comfy seat upon the porcelain throne of fantasy knowledge and let me guide you, for I am the fantasy bullpen shepherd.
So the the quibble with NSVH is, you may ask yourself, how do I work this out? And you may ask yourself, where is that large automobile? Yeah, Talking Heads. Not really fitting, but confuses the heck out of everyone. Back to the lecture at hand. NSVH is a interesting draft styling, and I have tried to come up with a devious plan of attack and go into it with a list (see below). I have noticed that almost everyone drafts the top-15 closers before even dipping into the Holds guys. Huge mistake. The top set-up guys to me are just as valuable as the top-10 closers. People don’t like taking unsexy names though. Let this roll off your tongue: Ken Giles. Now try this: Kevin Jepsen. First one? Crisp and clear and everyone knows his name, he is like Norm from Cheers. The second, sure you have heard of him, but it’s because someone got hurt first for that to happen. Get the drift? Cool, I knew that you would. That is strategy number one, names are good, but you can get the good way later in drafts because to put this easy, people are dumb.
Second strategy, yes, you want at least one closer. He should be in the top-12. That comes with caveats, don’t over-draft, get caught in a run, or wait too long. I know that is easy for me to say, draft dictates all. Would you rather get Kimbrel in the eighth round or Robertson in 10th? Always the latter, because you are going to kill with volume and strategy. So yes, go ahead and grab one closer. Preferably one with a top-10 option for Holds right behind him. Hence why I mentioned Jepsen above. Listen, I could bore you with all the riff-raff of battled ball stats on Tuesdays, on grass, on the road, against a right-handers, after the All Star break. It’s boring and just guessing with numbers. My stats? I need to back up my investment in holds guys over Closers, and it’s a simple decision. Closers for the most part pitch three outs (3.27 outs over last 3 years), bullpen guys on average over MLB for the last three years are responsible for eight outs. I mean, I am no genius, but that means they get 2+ times as many innings. The more useful relievers, the better.
Last tip, I kind of mentioned it above, but you want to cuff your closer. This is a must. It eliminates chasing. Cancels out the save-change in case of injury, ineffectiveness, or trade. You will automatically have that guy already in tow… Now, if you wanna be greedy and completely solidify your NSVH approach, do whatever I just said and do it twice. That means draft two top-18 closers and their cuffs. Be choosy though, and let the chart be your seeing eye dog. Everyone knows Tony Watson’s name, but Street/Smith is a sexy duo in this format.
So to recap, here’s what to do:
- Ignore the sexy names, don’t reach, kill with volume.
- You want an elite closer, but one that comes with a matching Holds luggage.
- Avoid committee or Brain Freezes, concentrate on top 18 closers.
- Repeat it twice = dominate.
My top-5 pairings:
- Huston Street / Joe Smith
- Glen Perkins / Kevin Jepsen
- Zach Britton / Darren O’Day
- Jonathan Papelbon / Shawn Kelley
- Santiago Casilla / Sergio Romo
All figures are for Saves/Holds plus BS