How we doin, Razzpunks?
Don’t forget, the Razzball Bullpen Chart is manned by yours truly and updated like every single second (not really, but I stay on top of thangs for the most part).
Here’s what stood out to me this week (note: Monday’s games do not factor in):
Three guys snagged 4 SV this week: Taylor Rogers, Anthony Bender, and Raisel Iglesias. One of those guys was in my preseason Tier 1 and I expect him to finish there. The other two are guys you drafted much later, if at all. Rogers of course was thought to be the closer in Minnesota, and then getting dealt to San Diego just meant his stock got even sexier (once he was officially named the closer). Despite a 30 K% and 0 BB% this past week, Rogers did only manage 2.9 SwStr% and 23.5 CSW%. Not ideal stuff, but the results are what matter and he’s getting those a-plenty (only Hader and Romano have more saves this year). As for Mr. Bender, he didn’t allow any runs nor a walk but did give up 4 H. Sounds like Dylan Floro is getting closer to a return, but it’s not for sure whether he’ll take the closer gig back or if Bender will keep/share it. Wait and see, I suppose! Bender is the sexier of the two, that’s for sure, so either way, it may only be a matter of time before Bender pulls ahead. I’d hold him even when Floro comes back, at least until it’s clear Floro is the main man.
Jordan Romano had another strong week and continues to be one of the best fantasy RP around. He collected 1 W and 3 SV while putting up a good line of work: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, and 4 K. Ain’t got nothing to complain about with this guy. Jays will continue to win a lot and as long as they’re not blowouts then this dude might crack 40 or 50 or 100 SV.
Edwin Diaz also had 3 SV, most notably striking out the side to cap off the combined no-no against the Phils. Diaz did walk a pair this week, but he also gave you 5 K and induced 28.9% whiffs while doing so. In case you hadn’t noticed, the Mets are quite good this year and should get even better when the bats wake up a little bit more. Diaz’s only enemy is himself; if he can stay out of his own way, he’ll have a real shot at being one of the first RPs off the board in 2023.
Ryan Helsley has worked himself into the closer mix for the Cardinals, notching his first save of the year a few days back. Oli Marmol has said he’ll treat the 9th on a matchup basis (even though Giovanny Gallegos has all but one save for STL thus far), and with the way Hell-yeah-sley is slinging the rock these days…boy howdy. I’ve added him everywhere I could. The dude has 16 K in less than 9 IP of work, has allowed just one hit, zero runs, and zero walks. His whiffs are astronomical. His O-Swing% is a work of art: 46.8%. Professional hitters are missing or staring at everything he’s had to offer to this point. Oh yeah, and he’s chucking the fastest fastballs in baseball. Literally. It’s unfair. He should be priority #1 if he’s on your wire in a SVHD league, and I’d argue he needs rostering in all formats anyway. I’m very, very excited at what this guy could potentially give us ROS. Quick edit: I said Monday’s games won’t factor in, but I lied. Just wanted to note that Gallegos came back to bag a save yesterday after going a long time between outings. Some were worried he might be injured, yet all’s well. Still, this is likely a timeshare moving forward.
We got 2 SV from all these guys, who are household names at this point: Kenley Jansen, Mark Melancon, Aroldis Chapman, Josh Hader, and Emmanuel Clase. All five are obvious full-time closers, but Melancon is on the COVID-IL right now and thus will cede saves to Ian Kennedy in the meantime, who had himself a baller week (2 W, 1 SV). Interestingly, Jansen sported a 44.4 K% this past week with only 6.5 SwStr% and 21.7 CSW%. Whatever gets the job done!
Ryan Pressly continues to sit on the IL, though a rehab stint is finally underway, so maybe he gets back with the ‘Stros by the end of the week. While he was still out this week, both Ryne Stanek and Rafael Montero picked up a save apiece. Neither is much to write home about, but Stanek is still a good step or three above Montero in my book. Would roll with him as a very short-term option if you’re able.
David Robertson is having a hell of a rebound year, adding a win, another save, and 6 K to his totals this week. Mans had 66.7 K% and 21.3 SwStr%. Looking like peak D-Rob, and that’s honestly saying something. If you’ve forgotten how good this guy used to be, I invite you to go look at his past stats — he’s absolutely still got it. Kinda sucks he doesn’t have 100% ownership of the closer role, but he’s easily the best option for the Cubs right now and could pull ahead as the weeks press on.
Speaking of someone who somewhat surprisingly has still got it, Daniel Bard had 4 K in two perfect innings this week (1 SV). He’s up to 11 K in 8 IP while still flawless in the walks department. I had him all but written off when Alex Colome was signed, so shame on me I guess. But really I wasn’t alone there.
Joe Barlow is the closer again apparently. What fun to be told he won’t close only to see him actually close. Mental gymnastics by managers is my absolute favorite thing, said no ever. Anywho, Barlow’s the RP to own in Texas if you want to bother with all that. They’re total ass, though.
Welp, wouldn’t you know it: I pump up Emilio Pagan a little bit last week and he goes and poops all over the field afterward. Pagan blew a save and posted a gnarly 28.59 FIP in just 0.2 IP of work. Yikes. Maybe time for Jhoan Duran szn? He was excellent once again this week (1 HD, 2 IP, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 20 SwStr%). Quick edit #2: Duran did indeed slide in for the save yesterday. Oh yeahhhhhhhhhhhh.
Josh Staumont is all of a sudden kind of a dud. Collected a BS this week while allowing 3 H, 2 ER, 1 HR, and 1 BB in 2 IP. Might see Scott Barlow pull ahead for save duties. Barlow earned a BS as well but also scored a dub, striking out 4 in 3.1 IP.
Switching it up here, I’ll give some notes on SVHD guys. Ryan Tepera is one of the better guys around in that regard, picking up 4 SVHD (1 SV, 3 HD) in 3.1 scoreless innings. Didn’t strike out a soul, though, but whatevs. He’s good and locked into setting-up-Iglesias duties.
Clay Holmes and Mike King have been money for the Yankees. I woulda put all my money on Jonathan Loaisiga having the kind of year these two are having, but he’s been a little rocky (though he’s coming around of late). Holmes is up to 1 W, 2 SV, and 6 HD on the year, adding 11 K in 10.2 IP. Only allowed 1 ER and 2 BB. Then you’ve got King, who has 2 W, 1 SV, and 3 HD, which doesn’t stand out too much until you peep that 22:3 K:BB in just 14.2 IP. Also has allowed just 1 ER, and one of those walks was intentional. I’ve got King in a SVHD league where I can utilize his SP eligibility, and let me tell you I’m absolutely loving it. Especially cuz that league counts K/BB as a cat.
Cole Sulser had 1 SV and 2 HD this week and seems to have gained Mattingly’s trust in the later innings. Will be interesting to see how things play out when Dylan Floro makes it back, cuz Anthony Bender ain’t going anywhere either. And Bender ain’t the only Anthony doing thangs back there: Anthony Bass had 3 HD this week, with 3 K in 3 IP. Of all these guys, Bass is my least favorite. You could play him for now, but I’d…cut bait (fish joke!!) once Floro’s back.
Drew Smith keeps on kicking ass, adding 2 HD and 5 K this week. He’s struck out 13 in 9.1 scoreless innings so far, with 6 HD to his name. I’ve been a little shy to recommend him with Trevor May and Seth Lugo around, but it’s clear he’s trusted to do the heavy-lifting and is more than capable of converting his chances.
Adam Cimber and Tim Mayza each had 2 HD, while Cimber also had 1 W this week. Cimber has no strikeout stuff but has been very effective this season, and it looks like Mayza is pulling away from Yimi Garcia a little bit, who had himself a turd of a week (0.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER).
Noe Ramirez had 3 HD in 3 scoreless IP. He’s not sexy at all but is a solid enough play if you’re really in the market for holds. At least while Melancon is out.
Need a speculative add for holds? Look no further than Trevor Stephan, who really should be getting more high-leverage work moving forward. Had 5 K in 3.1 perfect innings this week, whiffing guys 21.6% of the time and picking up a win. On the year, he has 2 W and 2 HD with 12 K in 10.2 IP.
I do some fantasy baseball as well as some fantasy hockey here at Razzball. Find me on Twitter: @jkj0787. DMs are always open for questions, comments, concerns, complaints, etc. Odds are good I’m drinking black coffee, dark beer, or some form of bourbon at any given time.