When it comes to fantasy baseball, there may be no position where player values vary more from shallow league to deep league than that of middle reliever.  Even if your league doesn’t use holds, a middle reliever that wouldn’t be draftable in standard leagues — even if roster size doubled — can provide some nice value in deeper leagues.  Last year, I drafted Hector Neris and Nick Anderson at the end of all of my very deep and NL-only leagues — both were available for a buck or in the free round of even my deepest, 15-team NL-only auction league. Both pitchers ended up helping me immensely, Neris by pitching well (his season was underrated in my opinion:  2.93 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 89 Ks in 67 innings) and ultimately assuming the closer’s role and notching 28 saves.  Anderson, on the other hand, while pitching in many high-leverage situations, never got that closer gig in 2019 that I thought he might, either with the Marlins or after he was traded to the Rays.  He ended up with one measly save — but that didn’t stop him from being a useful part of my NL-only pitching staff; in fact, in at least one league he was one of the only players who was in my active lineup from day one through game 162 last year.  The solid ratios, five wins, and whopping 110 Ks in 65 innings were enough to make a difference of a few points for me across those categories, which ultimately helped lead my team to a money finish.  If I’d been messing around with junk starters in that spot, I may have gotten some wins and Ks, but that progress would have been offset by the damage to my ratios.

With the current corona timeline that baseball is (hopefully) on track for, I’m guessing that middle relievers who are trusted near the end of games may even have a small spike in value — at least if anything close to expanded-roster teams playing 8 games a week and lots of doubleheaders into November becomes a reality.  (Please let it become a reality!)  Here are some true deep leaguers to look at, all outside of the top 500 NFBC ADP (with the exception of my first entry, Hunter Harvey, whose ADP is 475 — and probably only that high because of how many times I’ve drafted him!)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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With not a whole lot going on in the baseball universe and only so much Razzball Commenter League ADP talk to get us through, this will be the last RCL Update post for a bit until we have an announced Opening Day and some excitement.  In the meantime, we have seven more drafts you can join from tomorrow night at 9 PM ET (Click here to JOIN – We need TWO more) all the way until Star Wars Day on May the 4th.  So, snag a league and do a little drafting to get you through until we have baseball again.  Today, in our final ADP preview, we’ll take a look at all of Grey’s darlings and his schmohawks from the preseason.  This way, when you’re drafting in the coming weeks you’ll know exactly where to pounce on Miguel Sano and Dinelson Lamet.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Yeah yeah, I know we have a bear-bull post that SON has been leading the charge with for several years now, but I haven’t gotten out of my pajamas since the beginning of March and I’m knee-deep in social distancing, I just don’t have the energy to create a better title pun. WE’RE DOING IT LIVE. Not really, but you get my point. While baseball remains in a rut, depending on how much optimism you have left, there are rumblings that July 4th is being eyed as a return to normalcy. Well, maybe not normalcy, but some within the MLB are pushing this date as an achievable goal. I for one am not falling for that hope of optimism, I’m an American dammit, nothing but Cheetos and depression for me! Whether or not this date works out (Narrator: “It wouldn’t”), I have been slowly creating content that is starting to follow a trend: and that’s going over players coming into the season that have either been forgotten, banished to the low-expectation corner of the room, or are unlucky enough to call themselves Padres. This time, I’m setting my sights upon a pitcher, who with a passing glance looks a lot like Bruce Chen reincarnated (pretty cool trick if you ask me since Bruce is still alive), but upon further sight-setting (real word?), might actually end up looking more like Aaron Nola…

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Last night I awoke in a rush. I was sweating, panting almost – awakened by a nightmare more ghastly than you can imagine. One more horrific than the chronic nightmares I had as a child in which the tiny troll figurines stalked my bedroom through all hours of the night. One quick Google search and I’m reliving those dreams – and it’s all too real. Yet, even such horrors do not compare to the demons which disturbed my slumber last night.

Over the past several weeks, I have been struggling to cope with the delay of the Major League Baseball season – something I’m sure you can all relate to. While trying to keep a healthy perspective concerning the real issues and concerns of the present, I have been unable to keep my mind from wandering to the darkest corners of the baseball world. Before the Coronavirus even put the MLB season on hold, I dreamed of such harsh realities taking form. *queues Danny Glover voiceover* You can call it a vision. You can call it a coincidence. I don’t care what you call it, but last night, it got worse.

I found myself walking through an unfamiliar land in which Airpods were even more popular than they are now. Wandering through the streets, I was passed by an Amazon drone engaged in an air delivery. While gazing at its sheer beauty, I stumbled through the gates of Camden Yards and a game program subsequently blew though the wind and onto my startled face. As I pulled the flier away and began to read its text – I instantly gasped in disbelief. 2023 All-Star Game: The Long-Awaited Return of the Midsummer Classic it read, with an action shot of superstar catcher Adley Rutschman spread across the front page.

As I stood in disbelief, I overheard a conversation between two young fans, arguing who indeed was the top backstop in the game, Rutschman or San Francisco’s Joey Bart. But what about J.T. Realmuto, I thought? Or the mid-career development of Willson Contreras? I continued to eavesdrop with the hope that more details would soon become clear.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

On a recent spring afternoon, I hopped a DeLorean to go back to the future and discuss the top 100 prospects for 2021.

Then we explored next year’s dynasty landscape at catcher and first base.

Today, we’ll stay on that future theme, continuing our position-by-position focus by zooming in on second base.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

The slew of emails from every business under the sun regarding their comprehensive COVID-19 protocol continued this past week. I was on pins and needles wondering how Jiffy Lube, Bob’s Discount Furniture and Cledus’s Used Cars might handle this terrible crisis. Now I can finally rest easy. Anyway, you’re probably tired of hearing about this virus stuff that’s ruining all of our lives. So let’s shift our attention over to one of my fantasy drafts which was only slightly more interesting than that bulletin detailing how often the garbage man is washing his hands. Last week you got Grey’s RazzSlam recap aka Pete Alonso love letter. Now here’s my RazzSlam, 12-team best ball points league draft recap:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Week Three, still no baseball. Grey and I are just as bored as everyone else, so we decided to bring aboard our good friend Harold Dieterle, Celebrity Chef, Top Chef season one winner, and edible technician. We talk food, weed, baseball, quarantine, and discover the real meaning of friendship. Later in the show we talk a little Tiger King and how we’re all dealing with the coming apocalypse. It’s another week of the Razzball Quarantine Podcast!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

In 2014, the Cincinnati Reds signed Homer Bailey to a six-year, $105 million contract. Doh! He only pitched 145.2 innings that season due to arm fatigue. The following season was cut short due to Tommy John surgery. 2016 consisted of only 23 innings and in 2017, Bailey had elbow surgery to remove bone spurs and finished with 91 innings pitched. 2018 brought DL stints due to knee inflammation and a subsequent benching after posting a 1-14 record with an ERA of 6.09. Doh! But then last season showed a flicker of hope, as he made improvements after being traded to the Oakland Athletics. Now that he is in Minnesota, and being drafted as the 396th overall player in NFBC drafts, is there profit to be mined here? Or is it just more Doh! from Homer?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

We’ve now passed what would have been Opening Day, a somber event here at Razzball Commenter League HQ.  On what would have been Opening Day Grimey decided we should draft, so we started our 76th league and got it filled for a late night draft.  We’ve moved several unfilled RCLs out into April, so check out the sheet below and find a date that works with your new quarantine schedule. After April, we can start another league or two during the month of May if it comes to that.  That decision will be based on demand. I’m not sure how I’m going to manage all these teams once the season starts, but it’s all I can do right now is draft away. In the meantime, we have plenty of RCL ADP data to dig through. Today I thought it would be fun to look at some of the biggest differences in high/low overall pick numbers.  We’ll be able to see some of the more outrageous picks and maybe some outrageous deals people got. Let’s dive in!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Still adjusting to the lack of baseball, one has to wonder when we can go back to watching homeruns and strikeouts instead of staying six feet away from everything and anything (including your mom). And because we are stuck in this perpetual state of doing nothing but browsing the internet and checking the fridge (what is a man to do at home for weeks on end?), one has to accept that we all have to do our part and social distance for quite a while. And that goes for MLB players too! (I think/hope?) Regardless, the concept I’m touching on here is the same I alluded to during my SEO baiting post on Baseball and COVID-19. In that post, I proffered that pitchers dealing with injuries or currently in recovery would benefit greatly, because basically, time is on their side. (Technically it’s on my side if you ask the Rolling Stones.) And while there are a lot of pitchers that fit this criteria (and we might even cover them at a later point), I did want to focus on Jordan Montgomery, who may not just be healthy coming off his Tommy John surgery, but could also be ready to be an impact pitcher on day one. Even if day one looks more and more like year 2021…

Please, blog, may I have some more?