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!

American League

TEAM CLOSER SETUP SLEEPER
BAL  Brad Brach Darren O’Day  Mychal Givens
BOS Craig Kimbrel Matt Barnes  Carson Smith
CLE Cody Allen Andrew Miller  Tyler Olson
CWS Juan Minaya Joakim Soria Nate Jones
DET Shane Greene  Alex Wilson  Daniel Stumpf
HOU Ken Giles Will Harris  Chris Devenski
KC Kelvin Herrera Brandon Maurer   Wily Peralta
LAA Blake Parker Cam Bedrosian  Keynan Middleton
MIN Fernando Rodney Addison Reed  Gabriel Moya
NYY  Aroldis Chapman David Robertson Chad Green
OAK Blake Treinen   Liam Hendriks  Chris Hatcher
SEA Edwin Diaz  Juan Nicasio David Phelps 
TB Alex Colome  Dan Jennings  Andrew Kittredge 
TEX  Alex Claudio Keone Kela José Leclerc
TOR  Roberto Osuna  Ryan Tepera  Carlos Ramirez

National League

TEAM CLOSER SETUP SLEEPER
ARZ Archie Bradley Brad Boxberger Jimmie Sherfy
ATL Arodys Vizcaino Jose Ramirez A.J. Minter
CHC Brandon Morrow Carl Edwards Jr. Steve Cishek
CIN Raisel Iglesias Michael Lorenzen Kevin Shackelford
COL Wade Davis Jake McGee Adam Ottavino
LAD Kenley Jansen Josh Fields Scott Alexander
MIA Brad Ziegler Kyle Barraclough Drew Steckenrider
MIL Corey Knebel Jacob Barnes Josh Hader
NYM Jeurys Familia A.J. Ramos Anthony Swarzak
PHI Hector Neris Pat Neshek Hoby Milner
PIT Felipe Rivero Daniel Hudson George Kontos
SD Brad Hand Craig Stammen Kirby Yates
SF Mark Melancon Sam Dyson Cory Gearrin
STL Luke Gregerson Tyler Lyons Dominic Leone
WAS Sean Doolittle Ryan Madson Brandon Kintzler
   
  1. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    i see nate jones and kela as top grabs for next in line work,,great job as always

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @AL KOHOLIC: I like Jones as well. Extra sneaky in Texas is Diekman coming back from injury. Will also probably own more shares of Madson than Doo-lots

  2. jon says:
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    Who is your favorite “non closer” you like best to take over but also to help in Ks, Whip, and K/9

    looking for a deep sleeper to grab at end of draft

    • Jensen says:
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      @jon: Tyler Lyons is interesting to me. I don’t trust Gregerson at all and Lyons 2nd half was insane. The Alex Reyes shadow hanging over that bullpen isn’t great but I think Lyons could get a shot early. I don’t expect Gregerson to have much of a leash.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @jon: lyons is a great shout by Jensen. But AJ Minter is my dream boat this spring and Drew Steckenrider both could get shots

  3. Lil john says:
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    Archie Bradley – 30 saves. You got the over or the under?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Lil john: 30 is a good number. Can I choose the tie? I’ll say over but only slightly.

      • Jake says:
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        @Smokey: 30 is kinda meh, why do you see the low total for SV?

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @Jake: 30-32 is not that awful. Kimbrel had 35 last year for a 93 win team. The save % based on team wins is right around 50%of team wins So figure the D-Backs win 85, rough estimate that is 43 saves. 8-10 for Boxberger, Sherfy and the rest of the Snakes bullpen isn’t a bad account. Plus I think he sees less days with consecutive games appeared he appeared in 41 games with less than 2 days rest last year. That is a big number, but contending clubs rely on reliability.

  4. David Niven says:
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    Welcome back Smoke!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @David Niven: thanks David good to be amongst an illustrious cast of pseudonymic Fantasy writers

  5. zombie says:
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    Glad to see you still on board, Smoke! Terrific work as always.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @zombie: Zombies!!! Thanks kid.

  6. Jeff says:
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    HOW COULD YOU DISRESPECT MY TEAM BY NOT LISTING A PLAYER I CURRENTLY OWN?!?!?!?!

    In all seriousness, where do you think Joe Jimenez eventually slides into Detroit’s bullpen? Based on how he did last year (and since he’s still young) I can see them letting him work in AAA to at least start the season, if not play there all year. Do you think he has any long-term potential?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Jeff: I do those things on purpose for click bait. Well the Tigers are in full rebuild so I think he has a part of the pen, just how significant on a team that won’t win many different story. Name to store until Greene gets traded though if roster and bench allows.

  7. Jay says:
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    Always a good read.

    A lot of people are high on Osuna this year. Where do you see him in ranks amongst guys like kenley, kimbrel, and chapman?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Jay: thanks dude. He is just after that group. In the Cody Allen, Knebel, Felipe Rivero group. Just off the cuff of elite and def in top 8

  8. Jon says:
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    Who’s top from this group? Hand, Iglesias, Herrera, or Andrew Miller – 5×5 league

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Jon: next week will give more clarity on this but I’m saying Hand. Pitched like a top 5 RP in second half of last year. But tune in next week for more gushy details

  9. Stickball Al says:
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    What’s up with Betances this year ? I see he’s not behind Chapman or in the next slot either. I know he struggled the last part of the year, but he’s a young gun and they go through growing pains. Are they going to stretch him out ? Another flame thrower like Severino ?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Stickball Al: The K’s are great but the WHIP killer and loss of high leverage situations last year are no bueno especially in holds leagues. Nit stretching him out but he has to prove that last years yips need to be ironed out. These are all good things for drafting as people will pass, but for K/9 and the alterior reliever stuff he has the goods.

  10. Mind=Blown says:
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    Are there any SP elig guys that are going to be closers / setup men this year? Last year Iglesias was gold for me as I was able to have an extra closer in my SP slot all season.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Mind=Blown: The list in uninspiring for dual eligibility guys and I was going to do a post on them but what’s the point.

      Here’s the entire list:

      Ty Blach
      Mike Pelfrey
      Erasmo Ramirez
      Brad Peacock
      Joe Musgrove
      Jesse Chavez
      Tim Adelman
      Robert Stephenson
      Antonio Senzetela
      Rafael Montero
      Joe Biagini
      Anibal Sanchez
      Travis Wood
      Mike Montgomery
      Tom Koehler
      Mark Leiter
      Vance Worley

      That’s the entire list of gus with 10 starts and 10 RP

      • Jensen says:
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        @Smokey: How dare you call the jewel of the Pirates Cole trade uninspiring!

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @Jensen: haha, once Searage gets his paws on him, he won’t or shouldn’t see the pen. But look at the rest of the list its pretty blah dot squared.

      • RASPer says:
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        @Smokey: please include yahoo eligibility in that future post.

        A few guys I’ve found with sv/hld potential are Austin Pruitt (Colome trade helps), Burch Smith (he’s deep but KC has a history of turning SP to closers), and Alex Reyes ( He’ll be too good in the bullpen to ignore.) You heard it here first!

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @RASPer: that post is still tbd. I didn’t include Burch or Reyes cause I was looking at my own league where 2 years ago don’t count for this year. Pruitt is an interesting one though. Now you’re making me wanna do it. Way to go!

  11. Sweatpants Nation says:
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    I’m thinking if Holland is going to sign as a closer it’s gotta be the Angels or Cards. Not sure why he hasn’t landed yet. Anyway, thanks for the chart- it’s always a handy reference.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Sweatpants Nation: those two look like the obvious, with Rangers still unsettled somewhat.

  12. Jbona3 says:
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    Smokey, thanks for the great work…last season, I stockpiled potential closers from the wire, etc. and have the following guys available to keep – I’m interested in your thoughts on who is keepable. We have no keeper limits and 9 P slots, so I could conceivably start 9 RPs (not saying I would, but I could), just our $265 auction budget:
    Andrew Miller – $7
    Archie Bradley – $5
    Alex Claudio – $5
    Blake Parker – $7
    Jeurys Familia – $5
    Hector Neris – $10
    Kelvin Herrera – $6

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Jbona3: Herrera, Bradley and Miller look like definites, ut you have some fringe guys that depending on when trades can happen that could fetch you something, Parker and Familia especially. You have 6 closers there and there are only so many to go around. Good stockpiling my friend.

      • Jbona3 says:
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        @Smokey: We can do off-season trades, so I can market them now. Personally I’m intrigued by Familia, he was a top 5 closer in 2016 and I don’t see why he can’t regain his form this year, I’d like to move Claudio, Neris, maybe Parker (he was the Angels best RP last year though).

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @Jbona3: of the lot I think Familia has the most value, I mean Miller if non saw league could net you something of quality. All trades are good when you control 20% of the closer market.

  13. Llango says:
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    Who rather have any in a 12 team h2h keeper league – Mazara or buxton? Is there a big difference in value?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Llango: it’s basically your liking and roster. It comes down to steals versus more HR’s and RBI’s but not extravagant amount of either RBI’s to make that big of a difference. Buxton ADP is in the in the 70’s and Mazara in the 120’s currently. I’d rather have the run producer and fill in with SB’s later if I had my druthers.

  14. Rum Ham says:
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    What are your thoughts on Britton as a late round dl stash? Or do you think Brach could run away with the job with early season success?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Rum Ham: def worth a stash. Brach scares the hell out of me. He had a tale of 2 seasons last year. K’s down walks up and his BAA was bad I second half.

      • Rum Ham says:
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        @Smokey: Brach also got lit up on the very last day of the season for 6 base runners and 5 ER in 1/3 ip which kind of tanked his stats last moment. Non-save situation, last game of sub .500 season. I can understand a train-wreck outing in those circumstances. Stats looked alright on 2nd to last day of the season (definite downturn in 2nd half but not as pronounced minus that final outing).

        As for Britton I am trying to look up examples of pitchers with bad achilles injuries who returned to form. Only guys I found so far in recent memory are Wainwright, Grilli, J.Santana and M.Mulder. Two ended careers and two drop-offs in stats…but all 4 of these examples were also old as hell when their injuries happened.

        Any examples of pitchers under 30 that bounced back from a ruptured achilles? Haven’t found one yet in my googling.

  15. pdo says:
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    17 keeps, 5×5. I have Kimbrel, Iglesies, Allen as closers. I have to decide between Peacock and Brach. I get Brach is scary but a save is a save but on the other hand Peacock could start, fill in… great ratios. I’m back and forth… any advice?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @pdo: I’d keep Peacock that he has dual eligibility makes him shinier than he appears. With 3 closets in toe already a gamble on Peacock isn’t to outlandish.

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