I’ve made most of my recommendations this year with the long term in mind. I’m not easily swayed by a “hot” hitter, instead I tend to lean on the projections to set an expectation level. This late in the season, however, I’m uncertain of how effective that approach is. We can’t exactly count on any “regression to the mean” happening over such a small sample size of games. Some players will be good over the last few weeks, others will be poor and I don’t have a high degree of confidence that it is possible for me, or anyone for that matter, to predict the best base stealers to own these last three weeks (see this to know why). But I have some names for you even though I have not a clue as to whether they’ll be difference makers over these last few weeks. Here’s my recommendations, I’ve attempted to rank them by number of steals they’ll get from now until the season ends…
Carl Crawford (37%) is nursing a hamstring injury but he should be good to go very soon.
Kelby Tomlinson (11%), his speed is legit, he stole 57 bases in 2014 but he profiles as a mediocre hitter.
Jean Segura (89%) is a player that provides a fairly steady .260 AVG to go along with decent speed. He paces for about 25-30 stolen bases per full season.
And while I doubt that it’s possible to predict hitting streaks, I think it is very likely that we can predict good base stealing matchups. Which is not to say the SAGNOF tool is guaranteed to “work” every time. I do think it’s extremely likely to help over the course of time and that it’s among the best steals strategies you can employ.
Saves Ain’t Got No Face
Up is down, down is up, and John Axford has been the best closer in MLB as of late. Tom Wilhelmsen and Kevin Jepsen are not far behind him. I’m surprised. I didn’t necessarily think any of them had what it takes to hold down their jobs this well. Maybe Jepsen. I can’t remember a time when there was this much late season turnover of closer roles with results this good. Even Addison Reed has looked good recently and he notched a save yesterday because Jeurys Familia and Tyler Clippard both had the day off.
It’s even more difficult to make good next in line recommendations this late in the year than it is to make stolen base recommendations. The usual strategy of picking next in lines behind shaky closers won’t take us as far if the current closer only has three weeks to lose his job. It may behoove you to exchange all or most of any next in line players you own for hitters to fill those empty lineup spots on Mondays and Thursdays. If you do still need saves badly, keeping a close eye on any closers that start to falter might be the best way to go. Right now there are far fewer fantasy managers keeping their eyes on such things.
My lone recommendation along those lines comes from the Detroit Tigers bullpen but depending on your situation Alex Wilson may be someone to monitor rather than own. But it wouldn’t surprise me if the Tigers just continued to trot a struggling Bruce Rondon out there. Good luck.