Does it make you cry when you make the wrong choice for your fantasy team? Have you considered just being better? That’s the Steven Kwan method and its been working out pretty well for him (and his fantasy managers) so far. As Grey and B_Don so astutely brought up on the podcast, Kwan is a Michael Brantley type player. He won’t blow you away with power or speed, but he makes contact at a rate that we really don’t see that often in today’s game. That also makes him a points league hero. I told you to grab him last week and he’s been the real deal. I can’t take all the credit of course, RazzballHQ has has had his bronze bust up for months. He finally struck out today, so now is your chance to buy. All kidding aside, there will be a rough patch as pitchers and catchers get more tape on him, but he will be a guy you want on your roster. His performance has been so awesome that his AL Rookie of the Year odds have shifted to +600 (third best) all the way up from +5000. If your league still hasn’t caught on to what he’s doing, scoop him ASAP. If he’s already on a roster, take a peek at the guys below who have gotten off to a strong start.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Andrew Miller to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.
And the men who hold high places
Must be the ones who start
To mold a new reality
Closer to the heart
What? You didn’t know that Toronto-based prog rock band Rush were huge roto baseball fans? That song was released in 1977 — the same year the Toronto Blue Jays played their inaugural season. It’s actually about their love for under-appreciated closer Pete Vuckovich who saved 8 games for the blue birds that year. A lot of us have that same love for certain closers and when it comes to draft time we think with our hearts rather than our heads.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Holds Ain’t Got No Face!
These poor schlubs. No one’s favorite player is a middle reliever. The middle reliever never gets the girl. The signed middle reliever rookie card never fetches more than a buck-fifty on eBay.
Yet these working-class heroes continue to go out every day and grind away to bridge the gap between the billion-dollar, sexy starting pitchers and the dark, mysterious closers.
So here’s to you Graeme Lloyd! Here’s to you Mark Eichhorn! Here’s to you Matt Thornton! And MY personal favorite player of all time — here’s to you Jeff Nelson!
From a fantasy perspective, the middle reliever has been a non-factor since the beginning of roto baseball. In your standard 5×5 leagues there’s just no room for a player who barely contributes in any of the 5 pitching categories. However, after years and years of heart attacks from being forced to draft Fernando Rodney because they missed the closer runs — cardiologists have created a new fantasy category to prevent such cardiac conditions: saves + holds
Below I’ve ranked the top-40 non-closers for saves + holds leagues. In true Kerry-fashion, I’ve manufactured my own ranking system. I’ve ranked these guys out into three categories: sv/hlds, limiting runs, and K/9 — the three categories that middle relievers can consistently help you in. Limiting runs is a combination of ERA and WHIP — basically, in one inning, a reliever needs to keep guys off the bases — and if there are already guys on the bases — keeping them from scoring runs. You know — like the job of every pitcher!Please, blog, may I have some more?
(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY YESTERDAY ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $5/MONTH.)
You walk into the banquet hall where your cousin, Jared Walsh, is having his bar mitzvah, and the first thing that hits you is the macho-aggressive tones of Kenny Loggins. Kenny shouts at you a question, “Are you gonna wait for a sign, your miracle?” Down by your side, you snap your fingers, and quietly answer, “Stand up and fight.” As if he’s talking directly to you, Kenny’s pulsating voice hits you with another command, “Make no mistake where you are,” and under your breath you quietly respond, “This is it.” Kenny, “Your back’s to the corner.” You slide your back against a wall and louder now, “This is it.” Kenny’s fighting you to be better, “Don’t be a fool anymore.” You, fighting back tears, “This is it.” Then your aunt comes over and asks you if you’re still dating that goy, sees tears streaming down your face and uncomfortably waits for you to compose yourself. Kenny’s back, “The waiting is over,” you run to the stage, but Kenny sings, “No, don’t you run.” Finally, you get to the stage where the deejay has his back to you. All you see is his Orioles’ jersey and his last name Stewart. When he turns to you, you see DJ Stewart, the epitome of cool, and not just because he’s in front of a wind machine. He leans down and says with the wisdom of a great sage, “I’m just a hot schmotato, you’re the real star.” He’s right, of course. That’s all you need for the final ten days. Jared Walsh looks like a Quad-A player, but he’s hitting in front of Mike Trout, and it doesn’t get any better. I’m grabbing Walsh, DJ Stewart and everyone from this bar mitzvah — even you, Aunt Marilyn! Also, everyone is expendable (except Aunt Marilyn, bless her heart). Play only hot hands. You need to play footloose and fancy free with your teams in this final stretch. “Did someone say Footloose?” That’s DJ Stewart readying up the next Kenny Loggins. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY YESTERDAY ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $5/MONTH.)
Andujar could be used to describe the entire Yankees team this year. Not Miguel Andujar, but just walking around, looking at the team and saying, “Andujar?…Andujar?…Andujar?” It’s like a family reunion that you don’t want to be at.
“I’m Tyler Wade…Andujar?”
“That’s right, I’m Miguel Andujar.”
“I just said, I’m Tyler Wade.”
Their bullpen is especially, “And…u…jar?”
“I’m Adam Ottavino.”
“You sure don’t seem like ujar.”
If anyone were asking Miguel Andujar, “Andujar?” He could say a 2018 breakout, who had his 2019 cut short to only 12 plate appearances, so should be totally thrown out. How he went from a 2018 breakout to completely ignored by the Yankees in a Year of “Andujar?” is surprising, but likely has to do with his inability to play defense. Since the Yankees are all “Andujar?”, they don’t have many options to not Andujar, and he could be a solid bet for power. In a small sample — that’s what she said! — he has a ~43% Hard Hit%. His swing is kinda flat, bordering on ground ball-heavy, but well worth the flyer that he can hit more flyers. So, stop asking “Andujar?” and starting stating, “Andujar.” Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well, here we are again friends. Another injury article, another lead off for Aaron Judge. Judge made it halfway through a single game off the IL before re-aggravating his calf injury last week and has been promptly put on the shelf again. This time, it seems like the Yankees are going to take their time with their start outfielder to make sure they don’t run into any more setbacks. At this point, everyone worth grabbing on this Yankees squad has been profiled already, but these are no longer fluke issues with this team. Even upon the return of Stanton and Judge to the lineup, I’d hold onto Clint Frazier (who’s flashing some impressive leather lately) and Mike Tauchman as it’s only a matter of time until they hit lineups again.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The changes to bullpens week to week this season will probably never cease to amaze me. It’s the damn wild west out here. Why anyone would pay for saves is beyond me. With the trade deadline looming it’s also a good time to take stock and maybe stash some of the next in line guys if you have the room. Tiers are day of the week themed since everyday is Wednesday now.
- I thought Joe Jiminez had one of the safest jobs in baseball. He did everything he could to lose it. The team has announced his removal as closer and a committee going forward. Gregory Soto is probably the only one of the lot with enough upside to make it worth the chase.
- The Rays traded Emilio Pagan and were cursed to never again find a closer. It seems like Diego Castillo is the reliever due for an injury. He a plenty capable reliever. We’ll see what the usage looks like soon.
- Daniel Bard snagged a pair of saves for the Rockies. As a righty, he has a lead on Carlos Estevez for manager decision making. We’ll see if that holds up until Wade Davis returns.
- The Blue Jays are a full blown committee now. Anthony Bass didn’t do much to lose his grip but Jordan Romano is converting some opps, as well. Ken Giles is throwing so it may not matter much longer.
- The Cardinals placed Andrew Miller on the IL. Giovanny Gallegos is kind of the guy by default at this point. Team management is still trying to stop one step shy of committing to him fully but whatever. Until Ryan Helsley is back I’m not sure anyone else earns a save. Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s trade deadline season already? It feels like the season just started. Well, sometimes one’s feels are the correct feels, and sometimes one’s feels are the type of feels that have you on a first date snorting through tears that your daddy never hugged you. Today, I’m having the right feels. This feels weird. The season just started and teams are buyers and sellers. This is all so nuts. We will never see another season like this in our lifetime (barring a strike, then we might see this in 18 months). Never again will the league sit out for Covid. Even if there’s an outbreak next year with no vaccine, teams will just go into bubble mode in March. This past year happened because people didn’t know what they didn’t know. The ‘what we know now stuff’ is the Mariners sent Taijuan Walker to the Buffalo Bleu Jays. A better team is a greater than symbol, but ballpark A doesn’t equal ballpark B. This isn’t a great move for Walker to Buffalo’s Wild Winds, but there’s only about six starts left for pitchers, so Streamonator. I do think Taijuan Walker has become a fascinating name for 2021. His 8.3 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 are back up to where he was pre-Tommy John (surgery, not underwear), and back then he was a 3.50-ish ERA pitcher. That was in an easier league, but also a bad park. He becomes a free agent this offseason, so we’ll see where he is pitching next year, but I’m way more interested in him now vs. later. Yum, those candies were good! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Are the Tigers king of summer streaming offerings? Are the Tigers eating their young or are they eating whatever is thrown in the dumpster behind the Costco? Should fantasy baseballers be singing Here Kitty Kitty to young Tigers or is Carole Baskin robbing us of our Baseball Nut? Is an actual ice cream flavor at Baskin-Robbins called Baseball Nut and does it have chestnut cream? All of these questions are going through my mind on this lovely mid-August day as the Tigers promote Tarik Skubal and Casey Mize. Every MLB team should look at how the Tigers deal with prospects and emulate. The Tigers throw them to the fire and it’s grrrrrrrrr…hey, this is fun after 13 years of Spanish couldn’t teach me how to roll my R’s….rrrrreat! On Prospect Itch’s Tigers fantasy prospects, he has Mize 1st and Skubal 3rd, but that’s from January, which is like another year ago. I wrote a Casey Mize fantasy, which is from another year ago. Both of these guys could be aces, and worth picking up, but neither may go very deep into games this year. So, in redraft? Prolly look at streaming Mize and Skubal, in that order, due to how long either can go in games. In dynasty leagues, Skubal is flat-out sexy, but in a Glasnow-type way. Could he go 4 IP, 3 ER and 10 Ks? Yes. Will he go 6 IP, 2 ER, 4 Ks and get you a bunch of Quality Starts? I don’t know about that yet on Skubal, but that might be Mize. So, I think Mize over Skubal for this year? Yes, I welcome your Sir Mize. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: plenty of bullpens arms are hurt or performing poorly. That’s always kind of the case but the baseball gods seem intent on cramming in the usual amount of reliever chaos in the shortened season. It was a good year to invest lightly in saves. They are there for the taking on your wire.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jairo Diaz was told the Rockies will no longer have a designated closer. Bud Black is crazy, right? I mean, he is legit nuts or no? I know the Woke Police say you shouldn’t call people crazy, but if we don’t, then they might not get help and Bud Black needs help. I thought maybe Black was just slow on the uptake as witnessed by Garrett Hampson’s playing time. It’s not normal to go from not playing to suddenly being an everyday leadoff man, like Black just discovered Hampson this year. Garrett was good last year, you absolute loon! But this is about Jairo Diaz. He didn’t have the best of games (2/3 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, ERA at 3.12), but Carlos Estevez (1/3 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 3.38), who saved the game, took a comeback off his hand, and was in severe pain, heading for x-rays. So, one guy’s been decent (Diaz), one guy is obviously injured, and the third guy, Daniel Bard (1 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 4.09) has been okay, but serious emphasis on “okay” and nothing more. That’s when you announce the guy with zero blown saves is no longer the closer? Bud Black is twenty-six screws short of an Ikea dresser. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Contracts, the lifeblood of Major League Baseball. If you’re good enough, after you put in your time making nothing and riding on buses, the team owns you until you run through the rookie contract. Of course teams want to protect themselves from paying the next Jon Singleton, and this is how contracts end up with options. Some favor the team and others the player. It usually boils down to who has more leverage at the bargaining table.
Vested options are typically put on the back end of contracts, especially for older players. Some of these milestones might mean that a guy pushes through a minor injury. Others may put the club in a position where they prefer a player miss their vested option. The team can control the likelihood of completing the option.
For instance, Wade Davis has a vesting option to finish 30 games this season. Given his performance last year, the Rockies are more likely to find an alternative option should he falter or give him more days in between closing opportunities even if he returns to form.
What does this mean for you in fantasy? It means Scott Oberg, Jairo Diaz, and Carlos Estevez become interesting options at the back end of the draft. Oberg had the best numbers last year, but underlying numbers show he might have been lucky and has lost velocity on the fastball the last 3 seasons. Jairo and Estevez both throw upper 90s with sliders.Please, blog, may I have some more?