Sneaky free K’s are all the rage for a streaming option when a starter just won’t do. The numbers they put up are more of a collection-basis rather than a hunt, play and punt. Relievers, not just closers, are the container that transports the glue. Can you imagine glue not coming in a container and just being had at the local sundry store by the handful? Messy proposition my friends. Non-closers are what every complete fantasy team need. They are like the egg in a good recipe – you can often substitute one reliever for another. That’s what makes them so handy… they don’t usually carry a huge draft day burden. They are basically free waiver-wire adds. For those in holds leagues, that doesn’t always ring true, and when I start getting into the preseason hold rankings, some of the names will be similar. That’s because the names you want just don’t give you holds, they give you multiple stats. They are the five-tool performers in the industry of relief pitchers. So here is a little preseason primer for guys who don’t really adorn too much draft day attention, but should be snagged in situations that require their services when you are short on K potential and maximizing the K/9 of your fantasy roster…
Instead of looking at the full year of stats that will give a false perspective of late game usage, I am focusing on the last 40 days of 2015. That would be September and August for the counters at home. I have added a few other stat comparisons with the K/9 factors, because a guy who can K a lot isn’t always useful if he’s a pin cushion for walks and HR’s. First are the sleepy guys, followed by the top save vulture and holds guys from last year for a good comparison:
- Brett Cecil thrived when the bullpen was built around him instead of being the guy. His stats from the second half-on are better than Bettances…
- The Angels second-chair bullpen spot is completely up for grabs behind Joe Smith. Morin has youth and the K-rate to be a nice piece if you want a nice differential roster add.
- Jumbo is getting some closer banter. Why? I haven’t a clue. Too many homers and base runners for my liking. Heres to Hoover or deeper sleeper Zach Weiss winning that job.
- Givens, Barraclough, and Knebel are all on teams where they could really take a leap this year as that second guy. Givens has O’Day, Knebel has Jeffress, and Barraclough has Capps — all garnering more interest ahead of them. While none are rosterable everyday, they make for a sneaky insert play on days after they haven’t pitched.
- Between the Twins and Rangers, I don’t know who has tastier cheaper options for K’s, holds and overall goodies…
- Carson was the best piece in Seattle with a shaky closer. He now goes to Boston and is setting up in front of piece that will make him look better. He’ll make the All-Star team.
- I am blaming overuse on guys like Betances and Siegrist as they were horses down the stretch for teams that were in their respective races.
- Soria, Bastardo and Madson all move to a new team, and their roles will be important as the 1st chair option (in most cases).
- Tony Watson is the hold yeezus as a cuff for Melancon. For my money, it is better to get the 2nd-5th hold option in a draft and welcome the K’s instead of the accumulation of Holds.
What the charts show me are is that late-season is an all out dog-fest for stat accumulation, and there is value to be had throughout the relief corps. Usage, team being in/out of race and basic effectiveness are all determinations on who and how they are used. This is just an outlier for sleepers to start the season, the second chart has guys that should be owned almost universally in most 12-team leagues or greater, that also have holds as a category. The first chart is a sneaky look at some guys who are in decent situations with their own team and may have an expanded role this upcoming season. Rankings for closers, holds and some more sleeper stuff is on the way so stay tuned my friends. Cheers!