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.

Ketel Marte (12%) has been the Mariners everyday shortstop and he’s displayed a decent hit tool so far in his young career.  He has 27 stolen bases across 103 MiLB and MLB games this year.

A name that I would pass on is Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Aaron Altherr (2%).  His minor league career indicates he’s not at the level you need him to be to roster him in 12 team leagues.

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.

 
  1. PancakeMaker says:
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    What about Travis Jankowski? Good minor league steal numbers and he’s playing everyday. Just haven’t seen him do much running yet.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @PancakeMaker: Yes, he’s a player to consider. 33 SBs so far this year, 71 in 2013 after barely playing in 2014. He seems to have made a jump in his progress this year.

  2. Rob says:
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    It might not be commonly known yet, but it appears that Robbie Ross now at least tenuously has the closing gig in Boston. I picked him up today in all of my leagues except one.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Rob: Oooohh. Nice. I somehow missed that. Also Brad Boxberger just gave up 4 runs. I’m not sure if Jake McGee’s out there anywhere, might be a good time to grab him.

  3. Tim says:
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    Thanks to you & the rest of Razzball, I’m in the semi’s of my H2H league. Please help bring me home the ‘ship – pick 2 closers from the following who will give me the most saves for Sat & Sunday of this week. this weekend (only Saves matter – I don’t care about ERA, WHIP or K’s). One strategy could be to go with Giles & Vizcaino since they are facing each other on low scoring teams – almost guarentees me 2 saves.

    Perkins – vLAA Pelfry v Richards, Hughes v Shoemaker
    Giles – @ATL Eickoff v Weber, Harrang v Teheran
    Vizcaino – vPHI Weber v Eickoff, Tehran v Harrang
    B. Rondon – vKC Boyd v Lolquez, Simon v Medlen

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Tim: I still don’t really trust Perkins. You’ll know more by Friday night, but can you really trust him even if he’s declared ready? I don’t really trust Rondon either because he’s struggled.

      So yeah, I might just be with you on Giles and Vizcaino. You’ll know more by Saturday, right, as far as your save situation in your matchup? I think if there’s a chance you’ll need more than 2 saves then obviously you only play one of Giles/Vizcaino. I guess I’d rank them:
      Vizcaino > Giles > Perkins > Rondon

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