Earlier in the preseason, I delved into the holds tiers for fantasy bullpens. It exists right here in the Fantasy Relief Pitchers for Holds. That was more a broad brushstroke of fantasy bullpen goodness that goes on here at Razznation. Now that we are thumbs deep in draft season and the players being more prominent in roles are starting to show their purpose we can get a better grip on who to won and who to covet for the ugly step sister of saves the hold stat. In more cases than not, following a “drafting for holds model” holds true, but holds are such a fluid stat… more fluid than the closer role. So drafting the elite guy every year looks like a great idea, but name the guy who lead the league in holds multiple years in a row or, hell, twice in their career? It’s a short list, whose names are not that awesome or even around anymore. So for drafting for holds, whether it be in a straight holds league or a saves+holds league having the edge up on bullpenery is key. The strategies for each of those leagues is basically the same as the elite holds category earners and they should be drafted after the last “donkeycorn” closer to come off the board. If you draft an elite closer, always cuff your closer with the top holds candidate on that team. Next, do what I just said twice and grab your second closer’s backup/holds guy. That will give you two closers, their back-ups for the “just in case” moments and holds. Then your last pick for your bullpen will be an independent guy that has a K/9 rate over 9. That is my finite strategy for drafting holds in any league. It gives you five guys that you can bank on every day in a “set it and forget it” type situation. Don’t fall in love with your options, as like I said, bullpen fluidness is blah and you can find a hot hand on an off day. So now that strategy is out of the way, let’s look at the more finite tiers of holds!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Player projections for each of the next 7 days. A kick-ass DFS lineup optimizer and projections for DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo!.
Holding off on info during the height of draft time is just not my M.O. So I am bringing the goods and the reliever rankings a week earlier than anticipated. Why go into battle with a water pistol when you can go with the boomstick? At this point in the preseason, having a few teams with committee situations is normally a bad thing, except when you get to grab the right guy in that committee. Having multiple draftable options from one team is more of a benefit than a detriment on draft day, because inevitably one person is going to be wrong in that selection process and it is usually the guy who gets drafted higher. So looking at the situations with the White Sox, Rangers, Cardinals, and Diamondbacks as they sit today committee’s exist. Whether we want to believe it or not, each team has no clear cut closer and if you are skimming, this is still a good thing. Let someone else draft Gregerson, Soria, Parker, and Claudio. While you can sit back and wait a few picks or even rounds and scoop up Leone, Jones, Bedrosian, and Kela. As the season draws closer, this advantage will dwindle down to nothing, but for now use it to your advantage. Miss out on a top 8-10 closer, no worries, load up on the maybe’s and possibilities and if they don’t pan out than you can easily pivot to a more useful option on the waiver. So when someone says a committee is a bad thing, laugh and agree. Then drop the quartet of save possibilities into your team and see what happens. At worst they will cost you four out of your last seven picks. At that point in the draft, you should have an established team with all starters in place and you would be gambling on reliever talent anyways. Now you have the knowledge in your corner and a little bit of rankings goodness from ole’ Smokey. The initial installment of the Closer report with rankings is here, get excited!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Besides pooping, every fantasy baseballian needs to do prep work. Whether that be reading a publication of your choosing or doing a ton of mock drafts. Well, I am going to do you one better than using a mock draft to help steer your hand. I am using actual drafts that people do for money to lend you an ADP hand in the terms of closers. What else would I be doing? After all, I am Smokey, where only you can prevent fantasy bullpen fires. That public service announcement was brought to you by my own personal sponsor of Fischer pillows. Not everyone uses or believes in ADP as a source because some people in mock drafts are crazy, like legitimately Tehol-type crazy. That mock draft data is basically useless, but what if you had a list of drafts that were for actual dinero, and possibly some American money also? The NFBC is a great contest that we here at Razzball take part in and several of our writers have challenged readers, just like you, in these contests. They draw everyday Joe’s and experts from around the deep spaces of fantasy and all compete for money on varying levels of dramatics. Sounds fun? Cool, let me borrow 150 bucks so I can do one too. So I took that data from the past 35 days for a 12-team based ADP and broke it down into two fun categories. Drafts between February 1st and February 20th, and February 21 to March 6th. Just so they sound more legit, the first group had 88 drafts of ADP values to use and the second had 106. The number of ADP resources to draw from will increase by the time we get closer to actual game times, but for now 194 total drafts with data is at your discretion below. Only the closers side of it.
The 2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join with prizes! All the exclamation points!Please, blog, may I have some more?
From a straight love em’ and leave ’em perspective, the middle relief guys (the ones that are only there for stream-ability) are the daily glue that keeps a lineup together. Unlike hitters who get the spot start and we know pregame that they are in the lineup, inserting the correct reliever to help with K’s and ratios becomes a guessing game. So we are still in draft mode and we can always go into the season with some idea of the guys in the middle relief core that don’t get the save love, but still are vital contributors to the fantasy community. Their spotty appearances allow you to add innings with substantial K/9 value, and at a fraction of the innings price that streaming a starter would. Because if there was a starter on the waiver wire that had a 12-plus K/9 rate, he would not be on the waiver wire. So adding to the sum total one inning at a time is a nice way to get a good chunk of strikeout and ratio help. Granted that they don’t suck when they are in your lineup. My theory on in-season middle relief for leagues that don’t use Holds is this: Find two. Fall in love with one (but don’t move in together) and promise the other you will call her all the while you are totally looking for that next best one the very second that the other pitcher pitches. I call it the “steady girl and grass is greener” theory. With the innings limit, and minimums upcoming for the Fantrax Razzball leagues, it is important to find middle relief that gives you some middle relief. Roster one all the time, and always find a new fling on the horizon. Here are some K/9 relievers that are late draft day boons to your fantasy roster from the jump. We are talking about the guys after Chad Green, Carl Edwards Jr., Chris Devenski and Dellin Betances are long off the board.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The most important thing in fantasy baseball relief-dom in terms of holds is consistency. Without consistency of opportunities, of placement in the bullpen, and a team’s consistent success in utilizing their bullpen to your fantasy advantage… you get left out out in the cold when it comes down to accumulating a stout holds based relief pitching corps. Until there is a shift in the utilization of bullpens for the benefit of fantasy, more so, the leagues that use the hold stat. I will admit that I am more of an eye test person than a numbers guy. Numbers scare me. They prove too many things that don’t factor in the human error factor and the good ole eye test. So against my better mental state, I used numbers from the past five years to show that the bullpens are being used more frequently. Not just by some teams, but by all teams. I know, duh. This is something that we all eyed to be happening than Smokey goes in the opposite direction like a dyslexic salmon and gets some data to prove the incline of a stat that he holds so near and dear to his fantasy bear heart. Well sit back, relax, it’s going to be a fun ride on the holds bus this week as we do some research and than put the top-50 relief pitchers into hold tiers. Enjoy!
The 2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join with prizes! All the exclamation points!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Now to finish out the positional rankings for 2018 with my favorite: the relievers! I may have went a little crazy here, 3000 words on closers and one stat fellas is just bonkers to think about. I could have just used “save potential” and “hard hit percentage in medium leverage situations” about 40 times in my rankings, but I didn’t. Ranking relievers is an ever changing game of robbing Peter to pay Paul scenario. There are always going to be injuries and attrition, which lead to relievers getting changed and making the preseason rankings look stupid in hindsight. Last year there were 40 relievers that garnered 10 saves or more. Now, if you are keeping track, there are still only 30 teams so my previous sentence about replacement value in relievers is very true. That is why handcuffs and secondary bullpen pieces on draft day are important, not only for saves but to help your cranky ratios that creep up from day-to-day. This ranking is just based on relievers with potential for saves and how they will stack up in that department. Holds post will be something separate and should be forthcoming, though you sure as hell aren’t getting 3000 words on Holds because I’d rather blow my brains out. Still love the Holds game as much as, or even more than any other fantasy writer, just gotta temper expectations as not many other sites give you so much bullpen love as we do. So enjoy the rankings of 2018 fantasy relief pitchers. (It says 50 but I went ahead and did a little extra.) Enjoy!Please, blog, may I have some more?
As I sit here and awake from my winter’s hibernation, I search for and do only the essentials. Gold chain, check. I also tell myself that the transition from Fantasy Soccer to Fantasy Baseball will be as easy as riding a bike. But you forget, I’m a bear. Nonetheless, here we are fantasy folks and four female folkers. Baseball 2018 is already in high gear with posts from the usual gaggle, and as always my contribution is at the back-end of ball games. Namely saves, holds, and relief pitchers that have intrinsic mixed league value and individual league value heading into the draft stages of this new and bright year. So keeping it simple, I formed a chart that will be included it in every week’s post that will have the bullpen pictures of all MLB teams, updating it with every sleeper or bullpen post… because I am a giver. That and who knows what will happen in the forthcoming weeks that may skew the dynamics of the bullpens around the fantasy world? Once Grey starts doing his pitcher rankings, I will then drop my own rankings in proper fashion. Til then, sit back relax, ask questions about almost anything relating to bullpens or closers, as I will gladly be here as always for my ninth season here at Razzball. So it is with pleasure that I can bring you the first bullpen related post of the year. Individual closer and reliever posts are on the way. Enjoy!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Much like the famous Doors song that shares it’s name, bullpens are drawing near. (Minus the Oedipus complex that the song explores.) I mean, it may… but that is gross and I don’t wanna associate my bullpen goodies to that. Moving on, shall we? This year has been the SAGNOF-fest that we always come to expect. Closers up, closers down. Trades and attrition. It happens every single year and it is the reason why the waiver wire is what it is: So we can get the new third closer for the Twins. The chase for saves never ends, well, I mean it ends for season-long leagues, but for dynasty and keeper leagues, the times never change. Saves are a category. A deeply hated and often cursed at category that will always be debated about. Whether or not to invest earlier picks then normal to get a stud, or just fill in with hope-so’s and also rans. There unfortunately is no right or wrong answer because both strategies work as long as you are a waiver goblin. So with the final post of the year, much like the other years that I have done this, we look to next year… This year’s counting stats and information don’t matter, we want to know what lies on the horizon. So let’s find out!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Quick, grab a coin from your pocket. Now hurl it in a river, and imagine it’s at someone in your office two cubicles away. Now mid-flight, make a wish. Get back to me in two-three days and let me know how it went. This luck and wish game is much like the closer game. We hope and pray that all is well, but at the end of the day, we only care about the accumulation. This late in the season its all about the job. Who is doing it and who isn’t, period. The stalwarts are on cruise control into the final stretch of the season and are mostly on more winning teams than the teams that have situations that aren’t the most ideal. Good bullpens usually equal good-to-moderately-good success in real life. Much is the same with fantasy closer investment and going into next year if you struggled for saves this year. Invest in teams that will have aspirations of playoff baseball. The investment in drafting a round or two earlier than usual should pay off in the long run of the ever treacherous 180 days of fantasy baseball. So with the season winding down, let’s see what is happening in the saves market around the game as we transition into fantasy football, basketball, hockey and SOCCER!Please, blog, may I have some more?
I have said it here previously that grabbing relievers from a hot team or a team on a winning streak is usually a fantastic strategy from a holds perspective. I really have said it multiple times, so my memory is better than your’s. The Indians are in unprecedented territory as the team is in the midst of a win streak for the ages. It seems like two Hatteberg’s and maybe half a David Justice ago that we remember the A’s had a win streak of twenty. But now the Indians are on their own 20-plus win streak. Winning is a team effort, but Holds are what we care about in the Bullpen report. The Indians Bullpen over the course of their win streak is just over a buck fitty, and that’s not what matters for this post. The accumulation of goodies is what makes them all shiny. The group of Bryan Shaw, Nick Goody, Tyler Olson and Joe Smith have totaled 20 holds over their last 20 games. That total is just crazy, because since the all star break (which was 40 plus games ago) the have more holds than six teams do in total since said All Star break. So investing in Cleveland for bullpen stuff is where it’s at currently. Chase the win streak to aide in your pursuit of a Holds championship. Let’s see what else is going down in the world of holds and bullpens…Please, blog, may I have some more?