What’s poppin, Razzpimples? Think this is gonna be my set-it-and-forget-it greeting for the rest of my Razzcareer.
I’ve got a new format for you gals and guys this week. Nothing groundbreaking, but I’m taking a page out of Keelin’s book and will be organizing this column by division.
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):
Two saves for Ryan Pressly this past week, pitching 2.2 scoreless IP and striking out four. Should find his way into Top 10 fantasy closer status by season’s end, methinks.
Dany Jimenez also bagged a pair of saves, allowing no hits or walks and adding 2 K. He plays for a terrible team but the job is his now and he’s very good at it. I’m less excited about him in SVHD leagues, but in SV-only there’s zero argument for him being on any kind of waiver wire.
Raisel Iglesias had 2 SV but also 1 L, but that 75 K% makes up for just about any wrongdoing. Dude had 6 K in 2.1 IP. He’s hella damn elite and will be a Top 5 fantasy RP.
We got 2 HD from John King, Hector Neris, and Ryan Tepera. King walked a batter but otherwise was flawless, while Neris and Tepera have had better days (each picked up a loss and allowed 4 ER and 5 ER, respectively). Silver lining for Tepera is his gig is super safe and the Angels are still one of the best squads in all of baseball.
Drew Steckenrider picked up a loss and is kind of droppable in all formats, in my opinion. Paul Sewald and Andres Munoz are the guys to own in Seattle, even after Munoz’s implosion this week (5 R, 4 ER, but also 19.1 SwStr% ftw). Darkhorse to watch out for in SVHD formats is Penn Murfee, who K’d 35.7% of batters this week and holds a 0.68 ERA and 0.60 WHIP in 13.1 IP this season. He’s yet to record a hold but is looking much better than both Steckenrider and Diego Castillo.
Liam Hendriks got back to his old dominant self: 4 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, and 7 K in 4 IP. That’s 46.7 K% paired with a 16.9 SwStr%. For whatever reason, he’s given up his fair share of hits, but all other signs point to his usual elite potential ROS.
Fellow White Sock Joe Kelly snagged 3 HD this week. Tad bit alarming to see 2 H and 2 BB in just 3 IP, but he held runs off the board and also had 4 K. Seems La Russa is starting to favor Kelly over some other arms back there.
Really wasn’t a stellar week for Tyler Duffey, but he had the trifecta: 1 W, 1 SV, and 1 HD. Came with a 7.71 ERA and 1.29 WHIP, though. Just 1 K, too, and I’m not thrilled by 21.2 CSW%.
Jhoan Duran is who you want on your teams. Had 1 SV and 1 HD, with six sexy strikeouts in 3.2 IP (19.6 SwStr%). Man is filthy good. He’ll have some bumps here and there but it’s clear he’s far and away the best arm in the Twin Pen. I wish Baldelli would just forget about Pagan altogether, but he picked up 1 SV this week despite an ugly inning of work. Griffin Jax also starting to make a name for himself (2 HD, 0.00 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 3 K this week).
Two saves for Gregory Soto in Detroit. I like to see no runs and no walks, but I’d like to see more than just 1 K. His 7 SV on the year look pretty good, and so does his 2.92 ERA, but FIP and SIERA don’t agree. Plus his 1.46 WHIP has me more than a little worried.
Rough week for sexy rookie Trevor Stephan: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, and 0 K. For now, I still like him for holds in Cleveland.
Neither Scott Barlow or Josh Staumont overly impressed, but Staumont did at least record 2 SVHD. Just when it looks like Barlow has pulled ahead, he seems to find a way to stink it up. This is still a co-closer situation.
Jordan Romano sat for a spell with a minor injury then came back strong over the week, picking up a save on both Friday and Saturday. Pitched two perfect innings, struck out three, and whiffed fools 23.1% of the time. Think he’s just fine. Adam Cimber did a more than admirable job filling in while Romano was out, picking up 3 SVHD this week (2 SV, 1 HD) in 3.1 scoreless innings.
Two holds and a loss for Yimi Garcia. Still looking like a solid SVHD guy overall, but Cimber has leap-frogged him for primary setup duties.
Clay Holmes just might be the new Yankees closer and has been utterly dominant this year (4 W, 4 SV, 7 HD, 0.42 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, 21 K). Chapman might be looking at an IL stint with an Achilles injury, though early MRI results came back clean. Something’s clearly off; he’s been scored on in five straight outings. Holmes is >>>> right now and is 1000000% a must-add. Go on ahead and peep who sits as the #2 RP on the Player Rater right now.
A couple other Yanks relievers had 2 HD: Jonathan Loaisiga and Michael King. Mixed bag for Johnny Lasagna, who had a 12.00 ERA and 2.67 WHIP but also had 6 K in just 3 IP (and a 1.10 FIP). King’s 4.50 ERA was also in contrast to a strong FIP (0.35). Both are solid SVHD guys, but the edge goes to King right now given Lasagna’s overall struggles in 2022.
Matt Barnes and Hansel Robles each picked a save. Robles also earned a blown save in another outing. The only Red Sox reliever I have some confidence in right now is John Schreiber, who’s yet to allow a run in 2022. And he had 1 W and 2 HD this past week.
Andrew Kittredge landed on the IL, sooooooooo who knows who takes primary high-leverage situations in Tampa now. Ryan Thompson blew two saves, so probably not him. Would wager Brooks Raley if you held me at gunpoint (simply because he’s #2 on the team in saves), but Jason Adam has been superb (35.4 K% and 1.02 ERA) and J.P. Feyereisen has also been excellent (25.9 K% and 0.00 ERA). Pick your poison; Kevin Cash certainly will.
The Baltimore Orioles failed to record a save all week. Jorge Lopez is still the guy (probably) but did blow a chance. No saves but the O’s pen still did some work: holds from Joey Krehbiel and Dillon Tate, and then a win apiece for Cionel Perez, Felix Bautista, and recent call-up Nick Vespi. On the whole (insert Preparation H joke here), the Orioles pen has been very effective in real life, it’s just outside of Lopez there’s not a whole lot of fantasy sexiness. Tate does have 7 SVHD but there are just better options out there.
Two guys had 4 SVHD this week and both are Dodgers: Craig Kimbrel (4 SV) and Alex Vesia (4 HD). Kimbrel was bad on the surface (4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB) but also had 8 K in just 3.1 IP. I ain’t even kinda worried about him. Vesia was also filthy, with 2.1 scoreless and 3 K. Oh, and 20 SwStr%. It’s all of a sudden looking like Vesia is your best bet for holds back there, something I figured would happen sooner rather than later.
Daniel Hudson had a pretty good fantasy week himself, trifecta-ing it up with 1 W/SV/HD. Perfect across 3.1 IP and had 2 K.
More deliciousness from Taylor Rogers: 3 SV and 4 K in 3.1 shutout innings. Did allow four baserunners, but obvs still got it done in effective fashion. He’s your MLB leader with 16 SV and damn near perfect ratios. #1 RP on the Player Rater ftw.
Of course, I dunk on Mark Melancon and he goes and has a good week: 2 SV, 3.38 ERA (0.85 FIP), and 0.75 WHIP. Teammate Ian Kennedy had mixed results, with 1 W, 1 HD, and 1 BS+L. Ratios were yucky AF, though I can’t complain too much about 5 K in 2.2 IP. Still like him better than Melon Sun, but the latter is still the closer in the desert.
Despite picking up a loss, Daniel Bard had an effective week. Picked up 1 SV and had 4 K in just 2 IP. A solo bomb was his only blemish. Believe it or not, dude remains one of the better fantasy relievers for now. I know it’s hard to trust a Rox guy, especially one who imploded in recent memory, but he’s got a K% north of 30 and a BB% in the single digits. I won’t pretend he’s elite, and I won’t pretend selling high is a bad idea, just don’t think you’ve got a bad closer on your hands either.
If trifectas are your measuring stick for fantasy value, then Alexis Diaz is your man in Cincy! The only Central guy with 3 W+SV+HD and it happened to be one of each. The good? Only 1 H allowed and he had 6 K in 3.1 IP. The bad? He allowed 1 ER and walked four. Diaz is the best reliever for the Reds by a good margin, it’s just the Reds are so, so bad.
If negative FIP and SIERA are your measuring stick for fantasy value, then the dynamic Brewers duo of Josh Hader (2 SV) and Devin Williams (2 HD) knocked your socks off. Hader pitched just 1.1 IP but was perfect and struck out three. Had a -1.40 FIP and -0.83 SIERA. Williams allowed 1 H in 3 IP and struck out eight. That’s good for a -2.24 FIP and -0.81 SIERA.
My new man-crush, Ryan Helsley, had 1 W and 1 SV this week. Also earned a BS thanks to an unearned run. He wasn’t completely dominant but did still have 4 K in 3 IP. Giovanny Gallegos is the main closer, earning 2 SV this week, though he also had a BS+L.
David Bednar didn’t get a ton of action but did get his owners a save and 3 K. No one else in Pittsburgh is worth your time. Bednar, on the other hand, is worth all of your time.
Lotta Braves dudes did work this week. Kenley Jansen had 2 SV (and 1 BS), Will Smith had 3 SVHD, A.J. Minter had 3 HD, and Collin McHugh and Spencer Strider had 2 HD. Smith made batters whiff 24.4% of the time but also walked a pair in 2.1 IP. Strider added six more Ks to his insane numbers to start his career; across 21.2 innings, he’s up to 32 K with just 6 ER allowed. Could stand to walk less, but the kid is exciting as hell. Minter has been sensational as well, sporting elite ratios and is just shy of 40 K%.
Edwin Diaz did get hit with a BS but also had 2 SV and 7 K in three innings. He’s the only reliever with 5+ SV and 20+ SwStr%. If he could walk a few less guys then he’d be arguably the best in the business.
Two holds each for Adam Ottavino and Drew Smith. If holds matter in your league, Smith has gotta be owned at this point — only Tepera and Williams have more. The Mets will continue to win, thus the hold opps will continue as well.
Corey Knebel snagged 1 W and 1 SV. As many predicted, Knebel has been the sole closer in Philly and has done admirable work in the role.
Tanner Rainey has been very good in 2022, he just can’t find a save opp to save his own life. Finally got another chance back on Wednesday and botched it, though he did get bailed out to collect the win. Instead, it was Victor Arano bagging his first save of the season in the 10th, and Kyle Finnegan pitched in with a hold.
Woof, what to make of the situation in Miami. Absolutely no one inspires confidence right now. I really can’t decide who’s worth a shot or if you should just avoid them all. I guess Anthony Bass is the “best” bet right now. Can’t believe I just typed that sentence.
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.