I don’t give a rat’s rear end where people speculate Juan Soto is going to end up. Seriously though, I’m tired of reading all of these posts about hypothetical packages that would be needed to land Soto. It’s not fun, or funny. I don’t find it informative either. To speculate is to assume, and you know what they say about assuming. I thought about writing a whole post about potential trades for the “Childish Bambino”, but then I’d be doing exactly what I am ranting about. Would be fun though. Is the “Childish Bambino” the same as the “Childish Gambino”? Is the Childish Gambino related to the dude from Lethal Weapon? Man, I’m too old for this shit!

When the Nationals brass was asked how they’d evaluate trade offers for Soto, they said they’d look at the offers Juan by Juan.

Martin Perez has been the most productive RP in points leagues this season. This is simply because he is not an RP. Perez is a starting pitcher. This, however, does not exclude him from racking up fantasy points in the RP spot. Over the years the stats have leaned in favor of going with the closer in the RP spot over the two-start SP, unless that SP is an SP that’s been scoring enough points to render him a must start. I’d say this would be at about the 14 points per start level. Perez leads all RP with 313 points. Next is Edwin Diaz (286), Kenley Jansen (262) and Josh Hader (253). If we are looking for the next SPs at RP we have Cristian Javier (245), Luis Severino (234) and Spencer Strider (226).

Let’s take a look at two new points stats that I am currently toying with. Points per inning pitched (PPIP) and points per appearance (PPA). These feel more like RP-related stats as I prefer points per start for starting pitchers. When it comes to PPIP, this is going to favor closers. This is because a closer generally pitches one inning and earns a +7 for the save, while an SP will have a lower PPIP but a greater PPA.

If we look at the current PPIP landscape here’s what we find.

Josh Hader (8.16)
Kenley Jansen (7.44)
Edwin Diaz (7.31)
Ryan Pressly (7.29)
Jordan Romano (6.58)
Daniel Bard (6.44)
Emmanuel Clase (6.42)
Taylor Rogers (6.38)
Liam Hendriks (6.12)
Clay Holmes (5.79)
Gregory Soto (5.72)
Ryan Helsley (5.46)

As you can see from the list above, the closers have the market cornered when it comes to points per inning pitched. In fact, there are about 60 true relief pitchers at the top of the list until we get to the first SP. That SP is Spencer Strider with a 3.05 PPIP. Martin Perez clocks in at only 2.65.

Now let’s switch over to points per appearance. This stat better represents how many points a pitcher will get in a given game. The variable here is that an SP at RP is only going to have one, maybe two, appearances at most in a week. A closer can have between one and five, but more realistically between one and four. The average number of appearances per week amongst the top 25 closers (based on number of saves) is 2.25 appearances.

Points per appearance leaderboard:

Martin Perez (16.47)
Luis Severino (14.63)
Jake Junis (13.80)
Cristian Javier (13.61)
Drew Rasmussen (11.69)
Cal Quantrill (11.44)
Spencer Strider (10.76)
Devin Smeltzer (10.75)
Ranger Suarez (10.69)
Tyler Wells (10.68)
Chad Kuhl (10.59)
Jose Quintana (10.47)
Michael Kopech (10.18)

Like I said, this list is full of pitchers that start games. After 20 pitchers that work as starters (at least part time), we get to Kenley (7.49), Hader (7.44) and Diaz (7.12). As for the other top closers, we have Pressly (7.03), Helsley (6.84), Bard (6.47), Romano (6.42) and Rogers (6.25).

So when should you start an SP at RP? Well, almost never when the SP has only one start. At least when we’re considering this season’s crop of SPARPs. A minor argument can be made for Martin Perez who will net you about 16.47 points. If you go with the average of 2.25 relief appearances for a closer, Ryan Helsley will net you 15.39 points. Even though Perez might be expected to score a few more points, I’m still leaning Helsley. In a two-start week I’d be starting Perez. Same for Severino, if he wasn’t on the IL. I’d also run Spencer Strider out there in a two-start week. His points per start is actually 14.2 points when you factor out his 11 early season relief appearances. Despite the numbers, Jake Junis is going to have to have the most juicy of matchups for me to pull the trigger on him. As with Strider, if I ignore Javier’s relief outings and just look at this game starts, he’s at 14.42 points per start. I’d start him in a two-start week along with Perez and Strider. That leaves me with three potential SPARPs. Damn you Michael Kopech, I had such high expectations for you.

I’ll leave you with a few questions.

Have you ever wondered how many points would a point chuck chuck, if a point chuck could chuck points? Me too!

Has there ever been a homer, single, double, triple hit by four consecutive batters? I’m sure there has, but when? By who? How many points would that be?

I am still working on my rest of season SP and hitter rankings. Stay tuned!


Follow malamoney on Twitter at @malamoney

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Big Dawg
Big Dawg
12 days ago

“So when should you start an SP at RP? Well, almost never when the SP has only one start. At least when we’re considering this season’s crop of SPARPs.“

This is bad advice, at least on ESPN, where 4/5 top scoring RP’s are SPARPs (Perez, Cortes, Strider, Javier).

After those guys it gets dodgy and you’re better off playing matchups, but not starting the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and/or 5th ranked RP’s because the shape of their production is unorthodox is nonsensical.

Reply to  Big Dawg
12 days ago

In my points league we have a yearly limit on relief appearances and starts so this playing an SP in an RP slot gimmick can’t be pulled