I’ve gone over potential strategy for wins, ERA & WHIP, strikeouts, batting average, steals, runs & RBIs, and home runs. Today, it’s, betcha can guess from the title, Saves! How many saw that coming? Terrible secret keeping when writing titles that are so descriptive. Like steals, saves actually do change pretty dramatically in a 60-game season. Unlike steals, not sure if they’re going to be quite as easy to find on waivers, or if those on waivers will be as worthwhile. It would be a weird year for someone to just discover fantasy baseball. Imagine this was someone’s first season. “So, you don’t always punt starters completely? You don’t think Oscar Mercado could be as valuable as Mike Trout? Was it all lies?!” That’s a 1st time fantasy baseballer screaming into the pounding of rain in a torrential thunderstorm. That person seems slightly unhinged. Come in from the rain, man. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for saves?

1. Set in the role: This doesn’t mean you have to draft a top closer like Josh Hader. Honestly, I’m not even sure he’s set in the role. If I were Counsell, I’d use Hader as much as I could any time after the 7th inning. No, what I mean by ‘set in the role’ is closers, who if healthy, have no competition. Hector Neris, for unstints, has no one behind him in that bullpen. Joe Jimenez is going dirt cheap still, and who’s behind him, pressuring him? Ugatz, that’s who. With Covid running rampant in the world like Hulk Hogan in 1985, it’s hard to trust any closers, but guys in the role with no real competition? Sign me up.

2. Solid starters in the rotation: This seems like an oddball left turn, but hear me out. Not to pick on Josh Hader, but if starters are not good in front of a guy, the closer is going to be asked to throw way more than just the ninth inning, and might not even see the ninth. If you had to throw Brett Anderson and Eric Lauer for 50 IP each, how tied would you be to keeping Hader in the 9th? If I were Counsell (I’m role-playing as him a lot today. I may as well be typing these words with my elbows over my head.), I’d give Freddy Peralta, Hader, Corey Knebel and Brent Suter more IP than three of my five starters. I like the White Sox offense a lot, but their rotation is going to be a mess, after their top two. Colome is their set closer (that checks rule #1), but he might have to do more than pitch the 9th. So, that sorta thing could influence saves a lot this year.

3. Forget setup men: That’s not to say forget setup men if you can’t find a decent SP streamer and want to try to vulture a win or save or a few Ks. Then it’s totally fine. Owning a setup man all year like some kind of loon who thinks it’s going to net them saves is a waste of roster space. I’m happy you like Steve Cishek. I liked him too when Missy Elliott was rapping his last name twenty times in a row, but owning him all year for vulture saves in most mixed leagues is so meh. Pick him up for a game or two? Sure. Owning him from July until September for saves is goofy. He’s got a set closer in front of him.

In summation: ADP for top closers has moved up draft spots since the restart of draft season. I get it. People want a sure thing. However, some top closers, as I keep mentioning with Hader, might actually be in the bad position of being so good that teams will abuse them much earlier in games. Everything is on the table for teams on how to use their pitchers. Many teams have said they don’t know how they’re going to get through the season from a pitching standpoint. Position players will be pitching a lot. This also means that your closer on a team with bad starters might just be throwing in the 7th and 8th. Notice how I didn’t say at any point in the numbered draft strategy that you should look at a stat for a closer. Aroldis Chapman and Joe Jimenez in a 60-game season are that different? Not especially. The only difference this year is I want a closer who will actually be a closer and not a multi-inning beast, because Hader in 30 innings with only 5 saves is not doing me any good for saves, when someone else has, say, Mark Melancon and his 14 saves, i.e., Hader’s Ks in 60 games won’t outweigh the lack of saves.

 
  1. Steverino says:
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    Totally unrelated to Saves, but at least I clicked the link to the HR strategy article. No one knows anything of course but wound you prefer Teoscar to Austin Hays?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Kinda loving Teoscar…But they’re close, for power? Def Teoscar

  2. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    On July 16, 1941, Joe DiMaggio extended his hit streak to 56 games, which remains the longest in MLB history.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      He couldn’t even hit for one entire 2020 season!

  3. galica says:
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    Grey!

    Great saves report.

    a. Not harping on the same harmonica but seems logical on the report. Thanks for the logical explanation.

    b. MLB quote of the day for July 16, 2020.

    ‘We have a good time together even when we’re not together.’

    Guess who? It’s our pal, Yogi Berra.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      A. Trying to be logical, it’s new for me!

      B. Nice! We went all Yogi quotes for rest of the year!

      • galica says:
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        Grey!!!

        a. Help me man. Here’s the skinny.

        1. My mother-in-law (unbeknownst to me) joined our trip on THAT island paradise.

        2. I can’t stand her. The evidence… She and my wife bought 2 pounds of sardines at the fish market this AM. She started cleaning the fish, it took her 5 minutes to clean 1 fish. Ipso facto, there are 56 fish in 2 pounds so it would have taken her around 3 hours at that rate.

        3. So as I do, I volunteered my services ’cause I know I can do it faster. She gave me a whole bunch of crap like yeah let me see you first!

        4. I showed her, 1 sardine finished cleaned in 30 seconds (average). She gave up and went about eating before heading to the beach.

        5. She gave me a whole bunch of vitriol, like I don’t know anything (I go, I know enough not to take an SP in the first 4 rounds, but I digress), I waste a lot of water in cleaning fish and I don’t clean fish like they do in the 3 star hotel she used to work in. There was more, I’m only giving you the skinny.

        6. In short, I gotta get off this island. She’s gonna stay until the end of August and either someone’s gonna go or someone’s gonna meet their maker. And it’s not gonna be me (on the latter part).

        7. You can tell I am still stressed out from her vitriol when I was being part of the solution.

        My solution? Go with my son on July 22 like we planned yesterday and don’t look back. You?

        b. For this year, who do you like?

        1. O’Neill (on my roster)
        2. Carlson (WW)

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          1. HAHAHAHA — you didn’t know she was joing you?! Ha!

          2. Ask someone while looking at the can of sardines how do sardines social distance?

          3 – 6 I think you have to wander off and return in 6 weeks

          7. Ha, I can tell!

          That’s a good solution, see my suggestion above

          B. Hold for now

          • galica says:
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            Grey!

            Thanks, man. I’ll make sure I tell my mother-in-law it was your idea. J/k, we’re not on speaking terms unless absolutely necessary. The plan works I think.

            Thanks, I’ll hold Tyler for now.

            Cheers,
            Ante

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Your mother in law and I aren’t on speaking terms either

  4. Dhouse says:
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    I messed up saves, but I used your rankings pretty closely to draft this team, 12 team roto league, doesnit seem ok?

    C- Narvaez
    1B – Alonso
    2B – Biggio
    SS – Machado
    3B – Rendon
    OF – Acuna, Soler, Pham
    Util/bn – yuli gurriel, kingery, Christian walker, mazara

    Sp- Giolito, sonny grey, lynn, lamet, fried, stroman, minor, caleb smith

    Rp- kimbrel and oberg

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Kimbrel’s not bad…But, yeah, then you’re lacking…I do like your hitting and pitching a lot tho! I think you might be low on AVG

  5. Dave D says:
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    Its absolutely crazy how much “closers” have jumped since July 1. Most have jumped 30-50+ spots in ADP. Even “value” guys like Jimenez and Melancon went in the 150’s in the recent Main Event drafts. Thats nuts. It might be better to grab one and then vulture with three or use FAAB aggressively for guys getting saves, but waiting for saves in a ten week season could suck mightily.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, agreed, noticed and mentioned above briefly…I think it’s people suddenly think they need surefire saves, which they do, but ratios and Ks aren’t going to be that affected with top closers when they throw like 20 IP

      • Dave D says:
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        Yeah. I usually try and get greedy on closers. For example, I got Robles as my #1 closer at 180 in our DC. Latest drafts he’s going 110-113!!?? Kennedy was 220 now 160. No more “cheap” closers without good guess work. Im not sure how Im approaching my NFBC this weekend. Probably one bonafide plus guesswork on 2-3’s.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          110?! Haha, that’s crazy…Everyone must think surefire saves are the way to go, and handcuffs are out

          • Dave D says:
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            Handcuff is a good idea as COVID insurance, especially in deeper leagues.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, or weekly…In daily leagues, you have to max IP

              • Dave D says:
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                Yeah, maxing IP without killing ratios. Matchup central. Either constant streaming or carrying a deepstaff to be able to bench SP when needed and start the right guys. Basically anybody starting @SFG, @SEA, @DET, @MIA is gold and worth a FAAB bid.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, completely

  6. Swaggerjackers says:
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    I agree with everything you’re saying but would add the classic ‘closers on bad teams won’t have as many save chances as closers on good teams’ the team joe Jimenez is on might only win 20 games so if still rather have the closer on a team that could win 40.

    • I agree with both points of Dave and Swagger up to a point. Overpaying for Saves is just a waste of overall value that can be spent somewhere else. The good teams will of course win more games, however many of these will possibly be blowouts so Jimenez may produce better value for the price paid.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      That’s fair, saves come from squeakers so Astros or Yanks win by 4+ runs and it’s not gonna help either

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        My comment was to Swagger — I agree with mcneill

      • Dave D says:
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        Good 2’s might be 1B’s on good teams could be great values like Pressley, Treinen or Lugo.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          In deeper leagues, yes…In 12 team, I’m cycling thru ’em all

          • Dave D says:
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            For sure. Im drafting a 15 teamer that way. I imagine 1’s will get a fewer percentage than normal, and 2’s with great ratios will get more, especially if theres doubleheaders after rainouts. Also, Id imagine not too many closers will pitch three days straight this year.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yup!

      • swaggerjackers says:
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        Have you or Rudy come across any team-wide stats for the number of save opportunities they each had last season? It would be interesting to validate this squaker/blowout and good/bad team concept. It makes sense but I still suspect the Yankees produced more save situations than Detroit.

        I do agree with [email protected] that the opportunity cost to acquire the good closers also factors into the decision. Melancon really does feel like a great target all around. On a good team,and a cheap price because people are sleeping on him due to Will Smith hype that won’t necessarily even matter in a short season.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I haven’t see that, no, but anecdotally, you have good closers on bad teams get a lot of saves all the time, especially in short time periods

          Yeah, I’m excited I have Melancon in some leagues

  7. Paul says:
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    My League moves to Saves + Holds as a category

    I have Corey Knebel, Ty Buttery, Austin Adams

    And I recently swaps Trevor May who I like for Holds and K/9 but for Chad Green instead because I’m thinking he may be in line for some wins. I was thinking beginning of the year some pitchers wouldn’t be stretched out and Green would come in for the 5th

    What do you think of my strategy

    And would you keep May for Holds over Green?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I can see going Green

  8. Save +hold league thinking of streaming both r.p. One with matchups and the other with most games in a weekly league. Would you take Cody bellinger over Yellich in a 16 team league because of 1st is thin.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Sure, if you wanna go that way, but I have Yelich above him

  9. Denver90 says:
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    My league went to Net Saves + 0.5 Holds. I have Pressly, kahnle, Jimenez, Oberg and just added Britton and Ottavino after we expanded our rosters. I have room for 1 more. Green is there but so are all the Rays guys not named Anderson. What do you think? More Yanks?

    • The Great Knoche says:
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      Like me some Diego Castillo

    • galica says:
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      Kittridge

      Cheers,
      Ante

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Castillo works for me, also Green…Think they’re coin flips, tbh

      • Denver90 says:
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        Looks like helsley is available as well. OK to lose Oberg to make it happen, right?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yup

  10. Hanklongball says:
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    Grey,

    In a QS and SV/HLD league (12 team), who is the one you’d cut loose: Nate Pearson, Ty Buttrey, Matt Barnes, Corbin Burnes or James Karinchak?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Karinchak

  11. chris says:
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    Hi Grey,

    League only saves (not holds)
    Should I add Helsey and drop either Scott Oberg or Bummer?

    thanks,
    Chris

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Oberg

  12. Rebar says:
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    I think Hader is going to be crazy valuable. In the article’s example of Hader maybe gets 5 saves because of using him earlier than the ninth, but he might get 7 wins as well.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Maybe, but they’re so fluky…It’s a fair point tho, and this article is more about saves than anything else

  13. Cram It says:
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    What was South Korea’s strategy? They’ve been playing ball since the beginning of May!

    • William Hung says:
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      And pretty much every European soccer league is rolling too

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        Aussie football Had 35,00 fans in the stands tonight.

        • Pretty simple IMHO US opened up too soon. S Korea and other nations got their cases to a manageable level and then employed a track and trace system which included local lockdowns. Also wearing masks may be a pain in the butt, but they do seem to stop the spread. People simply need to accept there has to be a new normal, or this will drag on all the longer. That of course is only my personal opinion, i may or may not be right or wrong.

          • Cram It says:
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            Careful, David. You’re going to start up the freedom war again ’round these parts.

          • lennydykstraisjustkmisunderstood says:
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            It could not possibly have anything to do with thousands of protesters right on top of each other

            • Cram It says:
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              Goddammit, Lenny. For the last time. The response has been screwed up SINCE THE BEGINNING. You can’t have beaches keep opening, bars opening, 20,000 people at a sporting event, Presidential rallies, unmasked people in entire states for 6 months, and say “but Protestors”.

              • lennydykstraisjustkmisunderstood says:
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                How can you deny the protests which start 5/26 and are still going did not impact the numbers…….there are other factors got sure but protests were the largest gatherings by far it is statistically impossible for it not to have not been a factor….

                • Cram It says:
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                  I’m not denying it. You want to ignore the “other factors” that have perpetuated this for the last 6 months, and are 99.99% of the reason we are still in this sh*t and blame protestors. Over 3 million cases before the protesting. Why are you ignoring the failures before then?

                • Cram It says:
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                  The largest gathering has been the state of Arizona.

                • Cram It says:
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                  Maybe in terms you can understand. You’re in the 24th inning of a 18-18 ball game and you blame the 3rd string catcher who came in to pitch and gave up a walk-off single.

            • Cram It says:
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              Manufacturing plants OPEN, summer camps OPEN, malls OPEN. But two weeks of protestors put us here. Okay.

              • lennydykstraisjustkmisunderstood says:
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                Our company employees 11,000 people and we have had 10 cases in our plants

                • Cram It says:
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                  Yes, I know the insular “it doesn’t happen here so it’s not an issue” mindset.

                  • lennydykstraisjustkmisunderstood says:
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                    you just did a broad brush said it is due to manufacturing being open ……….just giving an example …………. protests have been going on 8 weeks not two ….you are in complete denial to say they are not a factor.

                    • Cram It says:
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                      My god, I’m not blaming ONLY manufacturing. I’m pointing to ALL of the reasons cases have been going up. I just friggin’ said I’m not denying protests were a factor. But you seem to be ignoring ALL of the reasons we are still here and focusing on protestors. I don’t get it.

                • Cram It says:
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                  The governor of Georgia just banned the mandate of masks across the entire state. But I guess that’s just one of the “other factors”….protesters are still the major problem.

        • Cram It says:
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          Hey, NASCAR had 20,000 fans over the weekend! *face palm*

        • Cram It says:
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          Australia has 15 million less people than….California. It’s clearly been easier to control population-wise over there.

          • Sweatpants Nation says:
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            Here in NY COVID cases started to decline in April. When the protests hit the end of May , and continue in many areas, they had no effect on the spread. In fact, we continued our downward trend. Sure, other areas of the country may have seen a spike in the time following May 26th but that could have as much to do with Memorial Day celebrations, and then later July 4th gatherings as the protests. If one is to say the protests led to an increase in cases in one area of the country then I guess one could conclude that they led to a decrease in cases in other areas, like NY. I think this more correlation than cause and effect.

            • William Hung says:
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              This. Every time someone uses the protest and protest only argument for cases rising, I’m just like 1% infection rate in the NY/NJ area for like over a month now… and NYC had some of the biggest protests.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Honestly, I think MLB could’ve been playing since April and had as much success as they’ve had in July…it’s just they didn’t know

      • Cram It says:
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        Cogent point, Grey. I hand’t really considered that but I think you’re probably right.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Of course, they couldn’t have, bc they didn’t know what they didn’t know, but yeah

          • Cram It says:
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            Totally, it wasn’t gonna happen.

            As much as I’ve been disinterested in a season, it’s so close now, I’m yearning for it to happen. I yearn, Grey!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, same here!

              • William Hung says:
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                FYI – the MLB The Show simulation coming out of SNY had the Mets winning the NL East. I didn’t follow them through the playoffs, but winning the NL East was surprising enough! Hopefully they carry that sim momentum into the real world

  14. When the Puig signing becomes official, he will be available on waivers for my NL league. 6×6 with OBP, daily moves, 4 OF 2U being the only difference to standard rosters. Assuming it will take my full $100 FAAB budget to acquire Puig, do i make the bid or hold as my OF is already very strong and i might be better waiting for an opportunity that may or may not materialise to fill one of my greater needs. My Hitters are
    V Caratini
    A Rizzo
    K Wong
    J Turner
    N Hoerner
    J Votto
    H Kendrick
    C Yelich
    L Cain
    A Eaton
    B Reynolds
    J Pederson
    R Braun

    Bench
    A Haseley
    S Souza
    J Stallings
    D Solano
    M Joyce

    NA
    E Diaz
    C Tucker
    R Healey
    A Dean

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Absolutely bid, could be a game changer in NL-Only…I’d bid $31+

  15. The Great Knoche says:
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    Trying one of the 12 team Rotowire Sprint NFBC drafts tonight. $250 entry, $25,000 overall grand prize and league pays $1,000 for first and $500 for second. Hope it fills.

    Any strategy for beating Zola?

    • DonnieB says:
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      Just keep breathing and have a pulse.

      • The Great Knoche says:
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        Ha!

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Hahaha

        • The Great Knoche says:
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          12th pick, which was 5 on my KDS. Like being on the end so beer/smoke breaks can happen during draft.

          Spiteri in it too.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Nice! Good luck!

  16. erad says:
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    Is there an updated Razz article with closer tiers? Are donkeycorns still a thing?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I believe Rotowan released last Friday, should be up to date

      • The Harrow says:
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        except his exact ones hadn’t been changed since march (he said so after having some clear cases of guys (munoz, who got TJ in…. march, listed as one of the 2 main SD set up guys). they looked exactly like they were written in march.

  17. TrickRey says:
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    Any advice for drafting in 10 team league that has SV+HD category instead of just saves?

    • The Great Knoche says:
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      I’d wait on relievers and get high K-Rate guys who will pitch in innings 7/8/9 later on in draft.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Agree with Knoche

  18. Joet says:
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    Grey,

    I could not find your take on the Peraza news.
    Wondering how much you would upgrade him.
    Very nice year in 2018.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’ve been in on Peraza, I like him a lot, prolly higher in my rankings than anywhere…I think it’s last round MI in 12 teamers

    • NUX says:
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      I could not find the Peraza news. What is it you’re referring to? They gave him the starting 2B gig?

      This is what I’m seeing from this past Sunday:

      Boston manager Ron Roenicke is not ready to name a starter at second base but feels Peraza can play every day, Ian Browne of MLB.com reports.

      Are you saying there’s more of an update than that? And also, he’s likely to bat like 8th anyways, so though maybe it gives him a bit of a boost in value, hard to go crazy over it. Though I do like the player and am excited for the tick up in value for my dynasty shares

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Yeah, Peraza named starter at 2B

  19. Saint says:
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    Hello Grey,

    12 Team Roto 6×6 QS OPS 3 OF Daily Moves

    Roster construction question. I have only played in H2H in the past. We have converted for the short season to Roto. 22 roster spots. I usually roster 10 bats, 9 SP, and 3 RP. What is your recommendation for Roto?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Same as you have but 6 SP, and stream

  20. Cohen says:
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    Grey, same strategy as far as no bench bats? Just use those spots for Starters/Closers?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, you need to stream SPs liek crazy this year

  21. Powdered Toast Man says:
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    AL only Saves+Holds- What are your thoughts Grey?

    Britton
    Cimber
    Oliver Drake
    Poche
    And then have Loasagia and Josh James

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Looks fine, but you are pretty tied to Rays and Yanks

  22. RicoSuave says:
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    Great write-up Grey!

    16 team points league…

    I was offered Luis Castillo for my Franmil Reyes.

    What do you think?

    My SPs are: Flaherty, Giolito, Gallen, Fried, Richards…

    My OFs are: Soto, Laureano, L. Robert, Franmil, Tucker…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Sounds solid

  23. 183414 says:
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    Hoping Harvey is in the mix for saves. Should help with k’s at least. I know, he pitches for the O’s. Just tough to draft 3 closers in top 150.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I think he should be

  24. Ellis says:
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    Could you rank the following, thank you!

    Peraza Nimmo O’Neil Bader Senzel Leury Goodrum

      • Ellis says:
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        Was curious if things had changed with Peraza starting and NImmo leading off, maybe it doesn’t so much

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Meh, those guys more depend on what you need, tbh — if you need steals, grab Peraza 1st

  25. Stat Man says:
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    I agree with you in a saves only league.

    Does you opinion on Hader change in a S+H league? He can close or go multiple innings and be brought it at any point in time to hold a lead. I think he’s the ideal RP for a save + holds in addition to his elite K’s and ratios. Would take him all day every day for his super high floor over more questionable closers like Neris, Workman, Melancon, etc.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yes, opinion changes in S+H, as long as he’s getting something, and he would in that scenario