If your fantasy baseball league is anything like (most of) mine, your trade deadline has probably come and gone, and scouring the waiver wire is your only option for help and reinforcements for the rest of the season.  In the deepest of leagues, said waiver wire is likely picked to the bone, especially since we’re still two weeks away from September call-ups, but press on, my friends.  In a tight fantasy pennant race, you never know when a few strikeouts or a couple of runs might make a standings-changing difference at the end of the year.  As usual in our deep corner of Razzball, you won’t find any fantasy monsters on today’s list, but you may find a guy who can give you that tiny handful of extra strikeouts or runs scored… or in some other way help you out in NL-only, AL-only, and other deep leagues.

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As a Trevor Bauer investor this year I’m tempted to just write: &$*3$*@#& and that’s it. Since Grey was his biggest advocate before the season, I know he’d understand. Stash or Trash: Stash for now. He’s a top-3 Cy Young finalist if not for this injury and we’re waiting for more news. That dastardly Jose Abreu lined a pitch of Bauer’s ankle in their game on Saturday. A stress fracture often occurs due to repeated compressive force on a bone (often in the leg, foot or ankle.) This type of injury is common in frequent runners. Bauer’s was obviously caused by the velocity of Abreu’s line drive hitting at just the right spot. Here’s the bad news: the typical healing time for a stress fracture in your fibula is 6 weeks. However, everyone is different — some can need more time or less — it’s hard to predict really. I’m labeling Bauer a stash until we find out more. If we find out tomorrow that it isn’t a complete fracture or that he’s got that Adrian Peterson DNA he might be back sooner. Fill In: Tyler Glasnow (19.3%.) Let’s get this easy one pick up out of the way — if you’re in a league where Tyler Glasnow isn’t owned yet you need to remedy this situation. Glasnow is now back to being a starter after going from the Pirates to the Rays. He’s made three starts so far each one inning more than the last. 12 innings pitched total with 20 K’s to only 3 walks and 6 hits allowed? His next start will be his biggest test against the Red Sox. Why haven’t you hit CTRL-T yet?! 

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Clearly, there’s a major issue here.  The issue revolves around a few Buys this week.  They are Mark Trumbo, Tim Beckham, Jonathan Villar and Trey Mancini.  Any guesses their connection?  No, they don’t all wear a bear costume during the offseason for bachelorette parties.  I mean, they could, but no.  I don’t think so.  Their connection and the issue can be summed in this question, is the entire Orioles lineup really hot or have they just faced garbage pitching for the last week?  I’d give you the answer, but I’d have to kill you, and I don’t know your address.  I guess I have your IP, but is it roaming?  VPN?  Am I really traveling around to kill you when I could just not tell you the answer?  That is the other choice here, right?  Such a dilemma!  Let me sleep on it.  *pulls Murphy bed out of wall, lies down, Murphy bed flies up and traps me*  Muffled screams, “Mark Trumbo has been the hottest hitter in the league!  If you need power, I’d grab him in all leagues!  Also, can you pull down this freakin’ bed?!”  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Hello, I am Hunter Renfroe.  I have homered in four straight games.  I am also your father that is why I play for the Padres.  Please, call me daddy.  Not sure why I’m talking like a robot.  Elon Musk has bought my body and repurposed my soul.  By the by, you know what’s fun to do, next time you’re in a quiet place where people will be able to hear your phone, have Siri say, “You’re the reason the robots take over the world in the future.”  And have Siri keep saying it while you look at the person next to you, then finally say to your phone, “Me or this guy?”  Any hoo!  Hunter Renfroe (2-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 12th homer) sent the Padres into the Space Force!  He has power (still makes no sense he’s hitting third, don’t care what he’s done), and I’d grab him if you need that.  Him and Franmil Reyes (3-for-5, 2 runs and his 9th homer, and third homer in four games) have put on a show these last few days.  Not sure why they’d hit the Brewers hard, they just traded for Jonathan Schoop.  He’s a good pitcher, right?  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Was thinking about this the other day.  Bear with me, it’s not fully formed (like the rest of this shizz).  Is there a higher upside move than becoming a magician?  David Blaine scored, Penn & Teller seemed to have done all right for themselves, Siegfried & Roy did fine until that white cat went ape…But how about all of the 18-year-old’s who are like, “Mom, Dad, I’m declining the full ride to Brown.  I want to do this…” *pulls sheet off table to reveal their daughter sawed in half*  “Oh, crap.  Marci?”  The world is littered with failed magicians!  You want upside?  There’s no greater upside call than deciding you want to be a magician for the rest of your life.  The Indians team?  They’re all freakin’ magicians!  Hey, Jose Ramirez (2-for-4, 5 RBIs and his 26th and 27th homer), you’re David Blaine!  Francisco Lindor (1-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 25th homer)?  You’re David Blaine!   Michael Brantley (2-for-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs)?  You’re David Blaine!  You’re all David Blaine!  We even have some David Blaine magic for Jason Kipnis (2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 9th homer, and 2nd homer in the last three games).  If you went Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez with your 1st two picks, you’re also a magician, according to the Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  (The other way to look at this theory is only a handful of knuckleheads are actually stupid enough to want to be a magician, and the world is not littered with failed magicians and no one is turning down a free ride to an Ivy League school to become a magician, but we don’t talk about this part of the Upside Magician Theory.)  Thank you, Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor and all the Indians, I believe your magic is real.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Tis that season!  Whether you are a football fan or not, and not that football fan…  Though the crew over on that football site do an amazing fantasy job.  So for the few of you that aren’t totally dizzy by my words of soccer, then let’s roll baseball into soccer and let the fantasy good times roll.  So for the next month the world, not ‘Mericas, will be casting its gaze on the beautiful game.  So while half the population is watching futbol, you can expand your bullpen horizons and deepen your reliever core.  The trade winds for relievers are already blowing and with just over a month to go before the trade deadline, grabbing the relievers that are secondary or even tertiary now (ones that won’t kill your rates) are all the rage with millennials AND baby boomers.  Situations to monitor and use to your advantage?  The Padres, Royals, and Tigers.  We all own the closer likes of Brad Hand, Kelvin Herrera, and Shane Greene.  But what are the ownership rights to Craig Stammen, Kirby Yates, Kevin McCarthy, and Joe Jimenez?  Way slimmer.  And combined like Voltron, their ownership for all four of those secondary relievers is less than one closer.  So basically free.  The key to mid-season closer acquisitions is being first.  Save that beloved FAAB kitty and be early rather than later.  So if you are looking at your roster, it was rhetorical… I know you are, get rid of that sixth SP or that bench bat that does nothing and play the reliever wait game.  Save now to help later.  Cheers!

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You’ve got to be realistic about these things: Stephen Strasburg isn’t the man we all dreamt he’d become. Absolutely, he’s become a very valuable pitcher and member of the invariably underachieving Washington Nationals, but alas, we expected career eliteness, Nicolas Cage in the 90’s level Eliteness. (Capital E for Emphasis.) Instead, we were given 2000’s Cage; Yes, Lord of War and Kick Ass were solid, but the rank stench of Bangkok Dangerous and Ghost Rider shall endure throughout the eternity of human existence. [Jay’s Note: But his hair sure achieved a lot in those two.]

We all recall Strasburg’s seven inning, 14 K performance in what was the most hyped debut in MLB history. Anything less than a first-ballot hall of fame career would be a massive disappointment after the mound mastery we saw displayed June 8th, of 2010. A little while later, as we all know, the dreaded Tommy John surgery was required and he just never became the man I desired him to be. Of course neither did I, but that’s a conversation for my therapist and I to have, but I suppose a botched penile enlargement surgery and Tommy John surgery have similar consequences (Jay, please look that up). [Jay’s Note: Risky Google of the day…] Every season, I would predict Strasburg to have his breakout season, and joining or surpassing the Clayton Kershaw’s and Justin Verlander’s of the world, only to be shamed by my colleagues, family and friends alike. It just never happened. The guy has TWO complete games in his CAREER. TWO COMPLETE GAMES!!!!!?!?!? How is that even possible?. I want to know how many times baby nuts has gone more than seven innings in his career since his debut. It’s one of the more insane stats I could ever imagine, and that’s without me even having a clue what the number is. I just know it’s extremely, mind numbingly low. So I suppose that is having a clue, but I’m not a detective, I’m Beddict the Elder and want JUSTICE!!!!! I could go on, but I’ll spare you the pain and self-loathing Strasburg has bestowed upon me over the last decade.

Last night, the former golden boy was taken to the woodshed and bent over a barrel and shown all 50 states by a lineup that features Pablo Sandoval, as he went a whopping two innings, and gave up three, before leaving with shoulder tightness. Here’s what I else I’ve found interesting around the MLB along with your Two Start Pitchers for the coming week!

Take Heed!

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Earlier in the preseason, I delved into the holds tiers for fantasy bullpens.  It exists right here in the Fantasy Relief Pitchers for Holds.  That was more a broad brushstroke of fantasy bullpen goodness that goes on here at Razznation.  Now that we are thumbs deep in draft season and the players being more prominent in roles are starting to show their purpose we can get a better grip on who to won and who to covet for the ugly step sister of saves the hold stat.  In more cases than not, following a “drafting for holds model” holds true, but holds are such a fluid stat… more fluid than the closer role.  So drafting the elite guy every year looks like a great idea, but name the guy who lead the league in holds multiple years in a row or, hell, twice in their career?  It’s a short list, whose names are not that awesome or even around anymore.  So for drafting for holds, whether it be in a straight holds league or a saves+holds league having the edge up on bullpenery is key.  The strategies for each of those leagues is basically the same as the elite holds category earners and they should be drafted after the last “donkeycorn” closer to come off the board.  If you draft an elite closer, always cuff your closer with the top holds candidate on that team. Next, do what I just said twice and grab your second closer’s backup/holds guy.  That will give you two closers, their back-ups for the “just in case” moments and holds.  Then your last pick for your bullpen will be an independent guy that has a K/9 rate over 9.  That is my finite strategy for drafting holds in any league. It gives you five guys that you can bank on every day in a “set it and forget it” type situation.  Don’t fall in love with your options, as like I said, bullpen fluidness is blah and you can find a hot hand on an off day.  So now that strategy is out of the way, let’s look at the more finite tiers of holds!

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As I sit here and awake from my winter’s hibernation, I search for and do only the essentials.  Gold chain, check.  I also tell myself that the transition from Fantasy Soccer to Fantasy Baseball will be as easy as riding a bike.  But you forget, I’m a bear.  Nonetheless, here we are fantasy folks and four female folkers.  Baseball 2018 is already in high gear with posts from the usual gaggle, and as always my contribution is at the back-end of ball games.  Namely saves, holds, and relief pitchers that have intrinsic mixed league value and individual league value heading into the draft stages of this new and bright year. So keeping it simple, I formed a chart that will be included it in every week’s post that will have the bullpen pictures of all MLB teams, updating it with every sleeper or bullpen post… because I am a giver.  That and who knows what will happen in the forthcoming weeks that may skew the dynamics of the bullpens around the fantasy world?  Once Grey starts doing his pitcher rankings, I will then drop my own rankings in  proper fashion.  Til then, sit back relax, ask questions about almost anything relating to bullpens or closers, as I will gladly be here as always for my ninth season here at Razzball.  So it is with pleasure that I can bring you the first bullpen related post of the year.  Individual closer and reliever posts are on the way. Enjoy!

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Much like the famous Doors song that shares it’s name, bullpens are drawing near.  (Minus the Oedipus complex that the song explores.)  I mean, it may… but that is gross and I don’t wanna associate my bullpen goodies to that.  Moving on, shall we?  This year has been the SAGNOF-fest that we always come to expect.  Closers up, closers down.  Trades and attrition.  It happens every single year and it is the reason why the waiver wire is what it is: So we can get the new third closer for the Twins.  The chase for saves never ends, well, I mean it ends for season-long leagues, but for dynasty and keeper leagues, the times never change.  Saves are a category.  A deeply hated and often cursed at category that will always be debated about.  Whether or not to invest earlier picks then normal to get a stud, or just fill in with hope-so’s and also rans.  There unfortunately is no right or wrong answer because both strategies work as long as you are a waiver goblin.  So with the final post of the year, much like the other years that I have done this, we look to next year…  This year’s counting stats and information don’t matter, we want to know what lies on the horizon. So let’s find out!

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I’m tag teaming today’s post with FredWord who had to attend a quaint country wedding where wifi doesn’t exist.  Fred wrote up some pitchers, and I’ll fill in the rest.  Also of note, this is typically a day for FantasyDraft content, however, they have shuttered their baseball doors early to make way for fooseball.  Harumph!  The nerve!  No harm, no foul though, we’ll just pass the content over to FanDuel for the final week.  Now, onto Fred’s lede:

Please raise your hand if you were kicked out of the playoffs last week. Phew! I thought I was the only one. I’m still a bit numb from being kicked out the first week of the playoffs. I refuse to log into my app to salvage a 5th place finish. Instead I logged in early the first morning to scavenge any free agent rookies who might be a keeper next year. I have turned all my attention to DFS for the final week of baseball. An interesting pick for today is Jharel Cotton ($5,900). Cotton is coming off a groin injury and likely will be under owned. He gets a favorable matchup at home vs the Rangers who tend to strikeout a lot. In his last start against the Rangers he had 9 k’s in 6 innings. Probably the biggest factor to this equation is Cotton is from St. Thomas Virgin Islands who was recently devastated by hurricane Irma. Cotton is going to be pitching with a lot of emotion today. This would be more of a tournament play as there is always risk playing a guy coming off interest.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond?  Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.  Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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It is that time of the year my good fellows, that allegiances and brand loyalty are thrown out the window.  As stalwarts start to grow warts, and the season long compilers gather some moss.  Allegiances and growing to fond of your roster for Holds is what sets apart first place and the rest of the standings.  Who you roster on your team is your own business, but I am here to learn you something as the season long leaderboard for holds is kinda stale.  The overall season leader, Taylor Rogers, has 2 in the past two weeks.  It doesn’t get any prettier as you go down the top 5 either.  Nick Vincent has 1, Jacob Barnes has 1, Jose Ramirez has 2, and Pedro Baez has 2.  Not completely awe-inspiring returns for the top of the top for holds.  On the contrary, the leaders in the past 14 days: Kyle Barraclough, David Hernandez, and Tommy Hunter all have 5.  Far more significant returns for a reliever, and it brings me to my key point… Grab a hold and ditch, period.  The names that are garnering late game situations is growing rapidly and will increase even more once rosters expand.  This is the “what have you done for me lately” approach to hold accumulation down the stretch.  Yes, the guys you roster may be great at K/9 and BB/9 and have stellar WHIP totals etc, but when chasing the one key cog stat for set-up men, that being the hold, no allegiances should remain.

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