What’s poppin, Razzpimples? Bullpen update time!
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). And directly below, you’ll see a current look at the Top 15 RP (in both 5×5 standard leagues and 6×6 saves/holds leagues) via our Player Rater. Subscribers also get access to the incredibly handy Relievonator Game Log, which tracks every single relief appearance from the last 14 days, including what inning they were called upon and how many batters/pitches they faced/threw.
Alrighty, let’s do it to it. (Note: Monday’s games do not factor in)
Player Rater Top 15 (5×5 Standard)
Player Rater Top 15 (6×6 w/ Holds)
Steady As They Go:
- Ryan Pressly has fully found his groove. Slow start, yadda yadda…you never shoulda worried. Had a negative FIP on the week (-1.71) with 5 K in just 2 IP. Not exactly known as a whiff daddy, but Pressly had a ridonk 47.8 SwStr% and 60.9 CSW% as well. That’s outrageous stuff.
- Paul Sewald had 2 SV with 6 K in 2.2 IP. Somehow earned a blown save without allowing a run and while still managing a -0.09 FIP for the week.
- Josh Hader joined the negative FIP party (0.71), striking out six in 3 IP. He converted both save chances and is so far assuaging all doubts anyone may have had entering 2023.
- Jordan Romano had cooled off lately, so owners are no doubt excited about 2 SV and 0 ER from their RP1. He didn’t walk anyone and struck out three.
- Alexis Diaz struck out nine in 3.2 IP. Did allow five baserunners, but like I’ve said before, the dude is just so nasty he can overcome just about any pickle he puts himself into. I ranked him as a Top 10 closer in preseason and so far he’s getting it done, even closing for the Reds. He’s Top 5 on both charts above!
- Camilo Doval was great yet again and has skyrocketed up the Player Rater the past couple weeks. Two more saves, four more strikeouts, zero more runs/walks. Pretty much the best fantasy RP not named Felix Bautista.
- Speaking of Felix Bautista, he had 2 SV and 8 K. Allowed 1 ER and 1 BB, but who even cares amirite? He’s #1. Absurd value. Man is even #19 overall on the 5×5 Player Rater at the time of writing this.
- Alex Lange earned 2 W and 1 SV this week, striking out five and allowing 1 ER and 1 BB in 4 IP. Still kicking myself for my overly-conservative, will-he-won’t-he-close-full-time ranking in preseason. Kept up his whiff daddy ways with 26.3 SwStr%.
- Andrew Chafin had 1 SV and 2 HLD this week, striking out four in 2.1 scoreless. Over the last couple weeks, Miguel Castro has 3 SV to Chafin’s 2 SV, and then vice versa for holds. As for Castro, he had the trifecta (1 W, 1 SV, 1 HLD) while striking out three in 3.2 scoreless.
On The Rise:
- Kyle Finnegan wasn’t left out of the negative FIP party either, posting a -0.05 mark with 5 K and 0 ER in 3 IP. Very nice 38.9 CSW% this week en route to 2 SV and 1 HLD.
- Giovanny Gallegos matched Finnegan’s 2 SV, 1 HLD performance. Given Helsley’s struggles, we could see Gallegos become the primary saves choice in the Lou. Monitor very closely, folks.
- Jason Adam earned 1 SV and 1 HLD this week, striking out five in 2.2 IP. Adam was trending down last week because Fairbanks got activated, and wouldn’t ya know Fairbanks done got himself hurt again (hip this time) and is back on the IL. So Adam stonks are right back in “to the moon!” territory.
- Mark Leiter Jr. got back on the fantasy radar this week with 1 SV, 1 HLD, and 4 K in 3.1 hitless/walkless/scoreless. If’n you ask me, Leiter is easily still the #1 fantasy option for the Cubs. They’re just kinda stinky right now and the save chances haven’t been there.
- Liam Hendriks was activated yesterday! Amazing story. Back before June. Just simply amazing. Not sure when he’ll get back to closing, but I figure it won’t be too long at all.
- Pierce Johnson still gets “Trending Down” designation, and I don’t care if he led the pack with 3 SV this week. Dude ain’t good. Wouldn’t be closing for just about any other team in the league. I would be trying to trade him if I had him; maybe someone bites on the saves splurge he’s had lately. Johnson allowed 7 H, 5 ER, 2 HR, and 1 BB in 3.2 IP. Oof. Let’s go back an entire month. Here’s his line: 12.1 IP, 17 H, 11 ER, 4 HR, 6 BB, 16 K.
- Ryan Helsley collected 2 L and 1 BS this week, allowing seven baserunners (2 H, 5 BB) in 4.1 IP. Doesn’t seem to be locating as well this year. Especially the fastball. Maybe this is just a small bump in the road, but he’s already taken four losses on the year. Statcast looks great other than BB%, though. Trending down for now, but he’s still got the goods to turn it around. Thing is, there’s that Gallegos guy who’s pitching well.
- Scott Barlow had some good and bad this week. The good: 1 W and 5 K. The bad: 1 L, 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB. Chapman is having a better year and is the sexier trade bait, so we just might see a role reversal here before too long.
- Pete Fairbanks is back on the IL with a hip injury. Always something with this guy, sadly. He’s worth an IL stash if you can afford it.
Steady As They Go:
- Hector Neris had 2 HLD and 2 K in 1.1 scoreless. No holds for Bryan Abreu this week. *Lots of crying emojis*
- Erik Swanson also had 2 HLD, striking out five in 2.1 hitless/scoreless. One of the better setup men in the game, no question about it.
- Trevor Stephan is also one of the better 8th-inning guys in baseball. Had 2 HLD himself, striking out a pair in 1.2 IP. He’s up to 8 HLD on the year to go along with 2 W and 2 SV. His 1.31 WHIP leaves a little to be desired, though it’s not like I’m worried much if I’ve got him on my roster.
On The Rise:
- Joel Payamps has quietly been a pretty bomb holds source lately, picking up 3 HLD this week while striking out four in 2.1 scoreless. Clearly worked his way up to #2 setup duties behind Strzelecki (who had 2 HLD and 1 L this week). Could be the #1 before long…he has about half the ERA that Sturz does, plus his K upside is significantly better.
- Jovani Moran is another quiet riser in the holds department. With Caleb Thielbar still on the mend, Moran is the lone lefty specialist back there, and he’s done great in that role. This week, he had 3 HLD and 5 K in 3.1 hitless/scoreless.
- Tyler Rogers, Carl Edwards Jr., and Kyle Nelson also had 3 HLD on the week. They’re all pretty cemented in setup roles but I stuck ’em here cuz I don’t exactly consider them “Steady As They Go.” Good deeper and/or NL-only format guys but not the type you “must own” in most formats. Rogers is outpitching his brother, Taylor, though, so I could see him being the #1 setup man in San Fran the rest of the way. Remember that time he was like one of the best SVHD guys around? In terms of pure SVHD, that is. Ratios have potential to be great, but the K stuff will never be there.
- Yency Almonte dazzled this week to the tune of 1 W, 2 HLD, and 7 K in four hitless/walkless/scoreless. He was very good last year but had been kinda meh up until this point this year. Might be able to get the jump on him now if you need holds help.
- Jacob Webb is a name to watch. We all know the Angels pen is basically crap after Carlos Estevez, but Webb has 9 K in his last three outings combined, walking none and allowing 2 ER in those 5 IP.
- And I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention Ben Joyce, the flamethrowing uber prospect who just got called up. I don’t foresee high leverage in the near future, but if he starts hot then that could change pretty quick. Halos sure do need some kinda spark back there. Imagine Webb keeping this up and Joyce taking off…
- Matt Moore hit the IL, so he’s trending down for obvious reasons.
- Joe Kelly was ineffective this week after kicking ass last week. Kelly put up a lovely 15.43 ERA and 2.57 WHIP this week, earning 1 HLD but also 1 L and 2 BS.
- Gregory Soto was also quite awful: 16.20 ERA and 3.60 WHIP. Phils pen kinda in shambles all of a sudden. Alvarado can’t come back soon enough.
- Josh Sborz has fallen about as fast as he rose. His last outing was nice: 1 IP, 2 K, and zeroes everywhere else. However, before that he had back-to-back stinkers. We’ll see if he can stay on track this week or if he starts to concede more holds chances to Burke and Leclerc.
- Nick Martinez is in the midst of a pretty rough patch. Tough to blame a guy who’s being used as much as he is, though. Four straight multi-hit outings but thankfully only 2 ER combined to show for it. Last two outings were a blown save and loss, respectively.
I specialize in bullpens and I used to do some fantasy hockey as well 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 of day.