The pieces are all set, and it’s like the beginning of checkers…  Before you secretly cheat while your cousin isn’t looking, you should know that 28-of-the-30 teams have labeled a guy to be their respective closer.  Now, for some, that’s like being labeled the “Hand of the King” and with bad pitching performances, their heads will soon be on a pike out side of Comerica.  Yeah, that was a shot at you Joe Nathan, we are all whistling happy trails under our breath as you slowly ride of into the sunset Shane style.

The only two remaining teams, Dodgers and Rays, have either no options or too many decent options and the manager is being all selective about it like he’s picking out an Easter bonnet.  Let’s tackle the Dodgers first, shall we?  They have a bunch of also-rans, and for a team that signed an infinite number of starting pitchers, failed to truly address the back-end of their pitching staff, which for a team with a payroll in excess of 240 million… is just awful.  For giggles, I did some research and the Dodgers this offseason signed starting pitchers with over 300 career wins and brought in a recently returned from zombie-hood Mike Adams.  That move alone screams desperation and the entire organization is wishing Kenley a speedy recovery.

As for the Rays, the Manager seems about as indecisive as a girl looking to pick out a prom dress.  First he laid claim to Brad Boxberger, only to follow that up the next day by saying it’s a group thing, instantly getting Tehol’s attention until I later informed him it involved pitching.  My honest opinion about this is he wants all his relievers to feel important, like when we got stickers in school…everyone got one.  Even that kid who ritualistically peed his pants. By saying everyone has a shot, well, it doesn’t damper their performance.  Hell if you were told by your boss that you may have a more prominent position in the company, wouldn’t you wanna show up?  The short answer is yes, unless you’re a huge ass kisser and dating his daughter. [Jay’s Note: Isn’t that an Ashton Kutcher movie?]  The good and bad news is that Jake McGee is coming back sometime in May, and it makes the situation very fluid, but based on last years numbers and the usage of Box this spring, my tendencies lead me to believe that he will be the main go-to guy.  If at all possible, have 2-3 closers set before you approach either of these two situations, because the season will have 3-4 changes before June and the waiver wire is your friend.  So lets see what else is brewing in the land of savedom.

  • Remember when I said if you draft Dellin Betances, you shouldn’t wait to draft Andrew Miller?  Well, I am here to say I told ya so. Because I told ya so.  The funny thing is if Miller wasn’t in the picture, the guy that Girardi is madly in love with and I think bought him a corsage is David Carpenter.   Now, I am not coronating him the king of anything besides Girardi’s love, but in deeper leagues he is a name to monitor if Dellin’s velocity and schwag is off.
  • The long awaited Astros closer debate was settled, I lost.  I had Qualls as the incumbent to stay there until he faultered and have Luke Gregerson take over.  To start the year Luke gets the keys to the bullpen car, but for how long?  He of the career 19 saves and 5 BS in save-only situations.  I weeded out the blown Holds because they are the same thing for stat purposes.  So the leash is there for him to strangle himself.
  • In the land of sox that happen to be red,  Koji Uehara is starting the year on the DL from all indications.  Lucky for them they have a cuff du-jour there who has but on the big boy pants before in Edward Mujica.  It doesn’t look to be a long term injury, but if you wanna jump on the early saves and have the roster space by all means.

$12 Salads

You know that restaurant your girlfriend/wife/what-have-you likes to go to that charges, like, $12 for a salad? Every time you go there, you have a thoroughly solid meal. No complaints, except you just paid $12 for a salad when you could’ve went to McDonald’s and stuffed you and your woman for ten schmools and had $2 in quarters left over to make the hotel bed vibrate. These closers are $12 salads.

1. Aroldis Chapman – (Jumbo Diaz, Sam LeCure)

2. Craig Kimbrel – (Jason Grilli, Jim Johnson)

3. Greg Holland – (Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera)

 

Donkeycorns

Imagine you’re following a donkey, who’s wearing a wool cap, through a desert for 1700 miles. Why are you following a donkey? Because he promises you something wonderful and you just need to trust him. Does the donkey talk? Yes. Yes, he does talk. So when you and the donkey in the wool cap arrive at his destination, he removes the wool cap to reveal a horn. The donkey is a unicorn and his gift to you for your trust is saves. These closers are Donkeycorns.

4. David Robertson – (Jake Petricka, Zach Putnam, Zach Duke)

5. Cody Allen -(Bryan Shaw, Scott Atchison)

6. Mark Melancon -(Tony Watson, Antonio Bastardo)

7.  Trevor Rosenthal -(Jordan Walden, Seth Maness)

8. Drew Storen – (Aaron Barrett, Blake Treinen)

9. Huston Street – (Joe Smith, Cam Bedrosian)

10. Steve Cishek – (A.J. Ramos, Mike Dunn)

11. Dellin Betances – (Andrew Miller, David Carpenter)

12. Jonathan Papelbon – (Ken Giles, Jake Diekman)

13. Fernando Rodney – (Danny Farquhar, Tom Wilhelmsen)

15. Zach Britton – (Darren O’Day, Tommy Hunter)

16. Glen Perkins – (Casey Fien, Brian Duensing)

17. Francisco Rodriguez, (Jonathan Broxton, Will Smith)

18. Joaquin Benoit – (Kevin Quackenbush, Dale Thayer)

19. Neftali Feliz – (Kyuji Fujikawa, Jon Edwards)

20. Hector Rondon – (Pedro StropJason Motte, Neil Ramirez)

Brain Freezes

I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing apples, bananas and Carlos Marmol– Wait, he just gave up 12 earned runs and hit Castro in the head with a pick-off throw. Brain freeze! Make it stop! Use the following closers at your own risk.

21. Brett Cecil – (Aaron Loup, Miguel Castro, Roberto Osuna)

22. Jenrry Mejia – (Bobby Parnell(INJ), Vic Black, Jeurys Familia)

23. Santiago Casilla – (Sergio Romo, Jean Machi)

24. Addison Reed – (Brad Ziegler, Evan Marshall)

25. Tyler Clippard – (Dan OteroSean Doolittle(INJ), Ryan Cook)

26. LaTroy Hawkins – (Adam Ottavino, Rafael Betancourt)

27. Luke Gregerson – (Chad Qualls, Pat Neshek)

30. Joe Nathan – (Joakim Soria, Bruce Rondon)

28.  Joel Peralta – (Chris Hatcher, Sergio Santos. J.P. Howell)

29. Brad Boxberger – (Kevin Jepsen, Ernesto Frieri, Grant Balfour)

30. Edward Mujica – (Koji Uehara(INJ), Junichi Tazawa)

 

 

  1. Lee says:
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    Where do Doolittle and McGee fit in assuming they come back within a month?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Lee: between Perkins and Rondon.

  2. Great White North says:
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    You can currently get the top three brain freezes for a song and dance in the much later rounds. Although the song is “Captain Jack” and the dance is a solo number in front of the mirror.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Great White North: sounds more like buffalo bill type stuff. A little goodby horses.

  3. dizzystpizzy says:
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    Smokey,
    Great timing as I prep for my final draft this evening. Which number you think is higher: Harry Kane goals in the EPL this season or Brett Cecil saves? Over/Under 30 for both dudes?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @dizzystpizzy: Kane should get 7 more and finish with 26. Cecil will be over 30 of he’s got the job all year

  4. Schlurricane

    Schlurricane says:
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    Higher likelihood of Papelbon taking Cecil’s job or Osuna?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Schlurricane: depends on how well the blue jays are playing. I lean Osuna.

      • A Hill O' Beans says:
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        @Smokey: I’m gonna keep saying it until its true, Castro will be the closer by May. Jays see Cecil as a setup guy so they can use him in a variety of situations, and they see Osuna as a starter. Castro baby, Castro!

  5. OldMilwaukeePounders says:
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    Whats good Smokey? I’ve got two things I’d like your opinion on if you’d be so kind.

    1. I have one roster spot in my 5×6 (holds) league. Right now I’ve got Allen, Cishek, Storen, Wade Davis, Andrew Miller, and right now in the last spot I have Aaron Barrett. I added him immediately upon hearing about Storen’s exiting the game pre-blister news. My question is; would you hold on Barrett and figure that he is good for holds and a cuff in the event of injury or go for Evan Marshall? Reed is a bum, but looks like he may be ready regardless.

    2. In terms of RP with SP/RP eligibility, do you see as being a must own in a H2H league? Is there anyone that can take the leap like Davis/Miller did last year?

    Thanks as always.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @OldMilwaukeePounders: 1. Barrett
      2. The options right now are blah for dual elig guys. Guys like Farquhar, aj Ramos and I’ll throw 2 deeper sleeper guys Mike Morin and David Carpenter.

  6. Tehol Beddict says:
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    What’s up with Betances bruh?????

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Tehol Beddict: he looks tentative. Like he’s got half an eye on his wallet

  7. Eric says:
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    Love the bullpen stuff smokey. You’re my go to guy for that. Def wanna see more prospect closer articles too.

    How do you feel about Mejia holding onto the job? Parnell wasn’t good even when he was healthy. Is familia the real threat?

    • @Eric:

      I think he runs away with it. Parnel’s velocity is in the low 90s, and I just read he’ll be the setup man when he returns.

      That could change fast, but smart $ says you’ll get at least 2 Full months of saves out of Mejia

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Eric: I think it’s Mejia until he stubs his toes a few times. Parnell was actually throwing quite decent before the elbow blew. I think both guys have over 20 saves by years end.

  8. Jeff says:
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    God damn it, I have Joe Nathan. Doolittle can’t come back soon enough.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Jeff: Joe Nathan is blah with a side of yuck. Soria doubles his saves this year.

  9. Feeling pretty good with 3 donkeycorns and 2 brain freezes.

    Good article, but just 3 tiers? Seems like some of the brain freezes are more trustworthy/less temporary than others.

    • Jeff says:
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      @Lucky Dog: You have 5 closers? Holy hell, how many teams are in your league?

      • @Jeff:

        10 in this one.

        I went cheap – drafted Cishek in the 13th, Benoit in the 15th, Rondon in the 17th. Then grabbed Mujia (sp? boSox guy) with my 1st FA move & traded Semien to the A’s homer for Netfali Feliz.

        Feeling pretty good in a H2H/6×6 league. Should compete for saves every week with that bunch.

        • @Lucky Dog:

          Mujia, sorry. He’s a temporary closer but Uehura seems fragile as hell – he said his hammy isn’t healing at all. That’s a good sign for Mejica.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Lucky Dog: yea I have been teetering on a fourth category. Maybe in 2 weeks for next one.

  10. I'm Keith Hernandez says:
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    Smokey who are your top hold guys right now? Thanks!

      • Lightblack says:
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        @Smokey Hey Smokey, I have Joe Smith already in a h2h 10 team sv+holds league. Someone just dropped Quack. Worthwhile to swap or just hold?

  11. Jay says:
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    Great stuff here man. One of my favorite posts to read. Really helpful with listing the “next-in-line” guys too. helps a bunch in my deeper leagues where everyone grabs those spec closers.

    who do you see as the first to lose his job? Mainly who of the next in line guys do you have the most confidence in racking up the greatest amount of saves?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Jay: Nathan and his replacement in Soria. I also think Casilla gets taken over by Romo early.

  12. Lville Jim says:
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    Picked Miller off waivers a few days ago. Hoping Betances blows chunks early and Miller steps up and runs with the job. Although I wouldn’t put it past the Yanks to trade for Papelbon or sign Rafael Soriano if they get desperate enough.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Lville Jim: yea paps makes way too much money even for yanks cost controlling owners. I think a team that is ravaged by injury bites on Papelbon. Dodgers aren’t out

  13. Lou says:
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    As always, good info Smokey!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Lou: thanks louis!!!

  14. Phil says:
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    What do you see Joel Peralta doing ?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Phil: ruining your ratios in search if stats.

  15. ichirosan says:
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    I believe LeCure got outrighted to the minors this morning, so you might want to take him out.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @ichirosan: thanks noted.

  16. Clyde Prompto says:
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    Howdy, Smokes. What’s your opinion of Cingrani as a reliever? The Reds’ pen is pretty ugly behind Aroldis, and he’s not exactly an iron man.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Clyde Prompto: Best arm there not names Aroldis, could see some we need a K type match-ups right out the gate

  17. MikeyB says:
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    whats your take on Siegrist get a good amount of holds this year or has he fell off a good amount? Signed him in my dynasty league last year for 3 years for dirt cheap. Is he worth holding onto or should I find someone else for holds depth. Most top setup guys are already signed. Have Farquhar, clippard(currently closing tho) Barrett, and Petricka. Guess I just really like Siegrist still. Thx Smoke

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @MikeyB: He can’t be any worse than last year, so yea theres a good gamble as long as the value is favorable. I still like him and want him to turn it around

  18. Slappy says:
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    One of these days the nimrods in Boston will just have Tazawa close in Koji’s absence. He’s the only other reliable reliever that they have.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Slappy: Haha, well the Yankee fan in me is not going to say a word

  19. Grondcarlo says:
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    In a saves + holds league, would you rather have a bottom tier brain freeze guy like Gregerson, or a higher end set-up man (like a T Watson type)? Thanks!

  20. SallyCips says:
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    I feel ya on the Astros situation, Smokey. Not fair to Flair–err Qualls, who didn’t do anything to lose his job to a middle reliever except not get paid. Gregerson is going fail and we’ll revisit I’m sure.

    I’ve dropped him, though, for now for Hutch, and going extra SPs in hopes of dominating the counting stats. My relief corp is minimal in a saves and holds league anyway–Britton and Soria are my only workable relievers with McGee shortly on the DL. Hoping for a Nathan implosion sooner than later. Trying to get another closer in a trade, but no one’s budging. Might get Boxberger as the the throw in in a Ross/Machado for Arenado/Box deal. Its either him or Hawkins and I think I like Box more.

  21. goodfold2 says:
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    this order look about right for 30 teamer dynasty with holds for first waivers. i got room for 2 right now, 1 spot at RP.
    hatcher (9th inning)
    edwards (TEX listed as 8th)
    belisle (7th)
    betancourt (7th)
    atchison (7th)
    pillar OF
    baez (LAD 7th)
    santos (possibly moving up?)
    boyer (MIN 7th)
    gregg (CIN 7th)
    furbush (mid)
    beliveau (mid)
    scrabble (mid)
    morin (mid)
    de fratus (mid)
    caminero (mid)
    treinen (mid)
    coke (mid)
    motte (mid)
    forsythe 2B
    giavotella 2B
    moore CI
    cheerios C
    joseph C
    hanigan C
    stauffer (LR)
    erasmo SP
    stults SP
    fausto SP

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @goodfold2: nevermind original question, i now own these 7 RP for 6 slots.
      melancon/fien/brach/al al/furbush/leone/hatcher. holds here too. i bid 708 K for al al till end of 2016 and brach for 531 k till end of 2016, but can cut at no cost to me. furbush and hatcher i only have till end of this year at 400 K each. 100 Mil budgets. I want to pick up extra hitter with one of those slots.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @goodfold2: could even drop 2 of these and grab belisle and a hitter. belisle doesn’t have good skills (per B.Forecaster) but he does seem to be 7th inning at STL. Brach has better skills though.

  22. KMDA007 says:
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    Great stuff as always Smokey! Looking for holds advice….I have Farquhar, Machi, and Osuna (just dropped Thayer), but I don’t think these are my best options to start the season. Barrett, O. Perez, Chamberlin, Cook, Carpenter, Hoover, Tolleson, and Cingrani are on the WW. Should I ditch what I have for who is available?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @KMDA007: Thanks man…Machi for Barrett

      • KMDA007 says:
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        @Smokey: Thank you for all the bullpen work you do!

  23. SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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    hey Smokey – thanks for everything.

    Farquhar/Ottavino/or Quackenbush for save chances/grabbing the role?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @SheriffMcRawDawg: Ottavino, Farquahar then Quack. Anytime

      • SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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        @Smokey: cool. do you think Latroy’s arm is going to fall off any time soon? Ottavino’s gotta edge out Brothers, Axford and Bethancourt right (assume so according to the above)?

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @SheriffMcRawDawg: Brothers was demoted and Axford is blech. Betancourt is the only threat besides OTTA

  24. gordon shumway says:
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    Hey Smokey, Thanks for your continued quality advice, especially regarding middle relievers. Thanks to your advice, I was able to pick up the following for rps in my holds league, which I’m quite happy with:

    Wade Davis
    Andrew Miller
    Ken Giles
    Will Smith
    Brad Boxberger
    Danny Farquhar

    Tanner Roark is on waivers.. do you think he will wind up being valuable as a middle reliever? Dan Otero, Jean Machi, Evan Marshall, AJ Ramos and Joba are also currently available… would you drop any of the above for these guys? Thanks!!!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @gordon shumway: I think you’re solid with what you got

      • gordon shumway says:
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        @Smokey: Thank you very much!

  25. goodfold2 says:
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    worked up out of that mismash from before. not fully grasping fantrax’s (the best really) waiver tiers, that you can set a limit to get per tier, i ended up with like my top 2 guys at RP, but only have room for 6 of these guys now. missed out on erasmo i could’ve had.
    i now own these 7 RP for 6 slots.
    melancon/fien/brach/al al/furbush/leone/hatcher. holds here too. Melancon/Fien/Brach/Al Al are all signed till end of 2016, and leone till 2017. hatcher/furbush only till end of this year. Brach and Al Al i paid more than minimum, but small enough that if i cut either i pay no cost.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @goodfold2: nice bunch of guys

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Smokey: for some asinine reason leone got sent down, yet he had too many innings last year for me to do the same, so i have to bench him for now. I signed him to 3 year deal (on the cheap), based on
        1. last year’s stats
        2. you
        3. shandler’s book really likes his skill set.

  26. Oranje says:
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    Jumping in here late to comment but…I have K-Rod @ $7 and A. Reed @$9. I am shaky about Reed, as I should be, but don’t want to pay for saves. I can jump up and get Perkins @ $13…do I make the jump before the season starts or hope for the best with Reed…also being hopeful that somehow Perkins remains unowned. Thanks.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @Oranje: Yea I wouldn’t rely on Reed for too much but Perkins at 13 is probably fair market value.

  27. Clyde Prompto says:
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    Hi, Smokey. Would you rather take a flier on Osuna, Miguel Castro, or Kela?

    • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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      @Clyde Prompto: can’t wait till kela gets in yahoo.

      • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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        @Montezuma’s Revenge… right now: kela/osuna/castro day at yahoo! now just get to wait till the 8th for these to come off waivers.

    • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
      (link)

      @Clyde Prompto: prospect mike thinks osuna most likely ends up SP (i think Smokey said that too somewhere recently), Kela probably only has to look good and wait for feliz to be himself with his low-ass velo.

  28. Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
    (link)

    just drafted with likely best drafters all year. I routinely in other drafts had been able to get cecil/mcgee and at least one of allen/benoit to have no less than 3 closers everywhere. In this 16 teamer with Holds/net saves and holds/k per 9/ k per bb i got these 6
    Cishek
    A.Miller (i think i have this dude in every league i’ve drafted this year with holds, barely go over ADP price too, makes no sense)
    Farquhar
    Strop
    Hatcher
    Carpenter

    I went Carpenter with your above advice about Betances being awful, and if that continues having both A.Miller/Carp could be huge. So for now i guess stick with Carp over Jepsen?

    Also, i had funny argument with some guy during draft about his ideas of Kaiser being better than Farq (and leone, and furbush) are str up wrong (and any manager that rolls like that really needs a better analytics department), and i badmouthed the SEA manager for even letting Kaiser get near high leverage over Farq/Furbush/Leone, and how Yoervis’s walk issues should land him lower on pole than these guys too. It was funny. Went on for a few rounds.

    • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
      (link)

      @Montezuma’s Revenge… right now: in holds leagues i’ll simply never let guys like nathan or hawkins near my team, as top notch holds guys have good value and don’t destroy ratios, and clearly i’ll find saves elsewhere later, esp if betances gets demoted.

  29. Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
    (link)

    do we still hold quack at all now? got screwed by this last second kimbrel thing. only have benoit in saves only leagues, and quack in a few spots.

    1. holds league which 1 of thayer (now), putnam, d.carp, peralta, fien? i also have a.miller
    2. best saves only if i have benoit ? 4 RP spots here with mcgee getting DL. pick 2. benoit/walden/d.carp/parnell (can stash)/familia (can grab both NYM guys if benoit is a drop)/hatcher/marshall. if parnell is one of them and benoit is a drop pick three.

    3. saves and holds, have mcgee finally getting DL’ed. have quack. no NA slots. dropped herrera for quack weeks ago. best 2 of quack/loup/familia/ottavino/w.smith/putnam/putnam/thayer/n.ramirez/hatcher/howell/carpenter/walden/marshall

    4. dynasty league where i just was able to add bogaerts and polanco, giving me three bench bats along with crapenter (3B, have panda starting). i told everybody i’m selling crapenter for a good RP. got offer for panda. should i stick with only moving crapenter for RP, or go with panda for kimbrel. we start 7 RP and i am only weak at RP with only Kenley/rondon/ottavino at RP right now (and pomeranz currently, will probably drop him for holds guy soon). this is OBP/slugging league so crapenter is worth possibly staring 16 team roto.

  30. the swinging says:
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    Chris hatcher homeslice…

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @the swinging: Buddy Carlyse lol. I owe you a beer, but if he doesn’t get next one you owe me one?

      • the swinging says:
        (link)

        @Smokey: u got a bet…

        Familia obv will take over for the mets..

        Back to the dodgers, peralta pitched the 8th and hatcher the 9th, that ain’t changing. If it ain’t broke…

        • the swinging says:
          (link)

          @the swinging: y do u have familia burried? 4th in line u think? U have vic black ahead of familia, vic’s not even on the roster.

          Pipe down, smokey…

          • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
            (link)

            @the swinging: he’s on roster, DL. he’ll be back soon too and there’s no way his stock isn’t on the up now. i’m guessing Smokey knows that vic is on DL, and his depth chart is a longer term thing.

              • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
                (link)

                @the swinging: yes, we’re all on drugs and/or drunk but you.

  31. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    marshall over ziegler for holds and K/9 league, zieg brought in 6th with guy on and 1 out, marshall the 8th by himself.

Comments are closed.