Please see our player page for Arodys Vizcaino 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.

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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Nothing is worse than owning a closer you drafted… you get comfortable and things are going well.  You’re sitting pretty, a dalmation on the beer cart.  Then poof!  The dreaded word that for fantasy players and save connaisseurs is worse than the “I’m pregnant” line; That word is a “group”, from singular to plural.  It isn’t fair.  These guys don’t know the hours of time we devote to drafting a team and then getting pimped to the waiver wire for the next dude up.  Well, that is where we are currently sitting with Atlanta and Philadelphia.  Adding more names to the donkeycorn factory at the end of the chart.  Joining the fray are now Tommy Hunter, A.J. Minter, Seranthony Dominguez, Dan Winkler, and a slew of other candidates that are all in bathrobes in a line by height down the hallway.  Save orgies are good for one thing and one thing only, diversifying the stat and keeping you closer to the leader by expanding the save universe.  But we all live in “a one man, one save” lifestyle like the Puritans.  So what do we make of all this mess, besides getting a waiver wire mop and roster as many as possible? Stay calm if you own the old closer.  There was a reason they had the job initially, and they are still in the running.  Dropping a potential save candidate to the wire is never a good idea, unless you are upgrading and getting a better save option that has the job outright.  This savey save advice is keen when you are middle of the pack, but if you are chasing saves and falling behind by the day, trading for one of a higher caliber is the tact to go.  Let us see what else is happening in the end game of fantasy…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Now, on most occasions, if one were to toot his own horn, he’d never leave the house.  And, coincidentally, I don’t go out that much.  However, seriously, rain down your props on me for Nick Pivetta.  Rain them down!  Who else told you to grab him the 1st week of the season?  Yesterday, he went 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 3.72.  I’ve been telling you people — yeah, you people! — to own Pivetta forever (six weeks).  He’s a new, different — better even! — pitcher this year.  He has a 10 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9.  If you don’t know why that’s good, I can help you, but it could take some time.  You do know what numbers are, right?  Okay, good first step.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ya know, if you’re gonna get busted for PEDs and be suspended for 80 games, the way to do it is right after fracturing your hand.  It’s like coming down with mono the week of your prom when you have no date.  “Damn, am I gonna miss that?  That is too bad, but I am so drowsy I feel like I have two Forest Whitaker eyes.”  That’s you getting prom-o-mono.  I am more surprised to hear Robinson Cano was busted for PEDs, than I am to learn he had no idea he was taking the illegal substance.  Baseball is currently batting a thousand for denials of PEDs suspensions. MLB players’ denials of taking the illicit substance should get into the Hall of Fame on its first ballot.  Speaking of Hall of Fame, I kinda thought Robinson Cano was headed there.  This will obviously shade a cloud over his entire career, which I do think is a shame.  What’s also a shame, you need to drop him in all leagues.  He’s more or less done for the year.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Closers wear many hats, many outfits, and work their way up to that garnered closer spot.  Now that Hunter Strickland is there, established and doing work, what will become of him if/when Mark Melancon returns… eventually?  Melancon is scheduled for a bullpen session this weekend and he was previously scheduled for a throwing session a few days before, but instead played catch.  Was his dad in town and they wanted to reminisce about the days of yore?  But back to the guy in the seat in Strickland, him of the plus 9 K/9, 7 saves in 9 chances and .170 BAA.  Those are all numbers for a closer that makes you comfy and cuddly in a “set it and forget it” kinda way. Though in all fairness, you should never remove your closer from your starting roster.  So how long, or better yet, do we trust that Melancon just walks in like Wooderson from Dazed and Confused with ‘This is the story of the Hurricane’ playing behind and retakes his job?  I am leery that he even makes it through his bullpen session.  Kinda serious, but… kinda serious.  The people that drafted Melancon aren’t losing anything but a DL slot.  The people that own Strickland via FAAB or waiver wire pick up deserve him keeping the job.  I am fighting for the common man here!  The everyday waiver wire warrior.  So rooting for Strickland now is a thing, I am going to get some foam fingers made that have some catchy quote on them.  So if you are a Strickland owner, it is a firm hold and hope the MM never makes it back.  For the Melancon owners… sorry.  Hope he falls down and breaks his crown.  Closer report, rankings, and musings heading your way.  Cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On a chalkboard someone has written, “K/9 Revolutionaries — Donuts in back, the kind of donuts you can eat.”  In a semi-circle, Patrick Corbin, Gerrit Cole, and Garrett Richards discuss a knuckle curve.  “If you dig your index finger in like you’re Richard Gere trying to get a gerbil out–”  When Kyle Gibson walks in, startling them.  “What’s up, guys?”  The other pitchers frantically hide their K/9 Revolution propaganda; Richards tries to wipe down the chalkboard but the eraser is just streaking the writing, then Michael Pineda appears, wipes pine tar over the chalkboard writing and leaves from where he came.  So, they don’t want Kyle Gibson part of the K/9 Revolution, but he looks like he might be down for the cause.  Yesterday, he went 6 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, 10 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.33.  His 10 K/9 would be an easy career high. This follows a trend we saw with Gibson last year in the 2nd half of the year.  He’s not doing it with gas either.  He’s dropping well-meaning, nonchalant off-speed pitches.  He scaled back his slider usage, but it’s working much better in a lesser-seen capacity, and his curve he’s using more — outside the zone.   This has upped his walks, but the number of swings he’s generated outside the zone has leaped like 12 lords.  His pitches may lack command, but the K/9 Revolutionaries should put him in charge of at least the northern border to guard against Ontario, eh.  And if you think the K/9 Revolutionaries are not real, this year 35% of plate appearances have ended without the ball in play, and, for the first time in the history of baseball, we’ve played nearly a month with more strikeouts than hits (h/t Joe Sheehan).  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Not only is it bad for marriage, but it is  doomsday for fantasy baseball.  Rostering three relievers from one team, all who accrue saves is just a blight on society.  No one has the ability to carry three separate relievers from one team.  Unless… naw… it’s just stupid to even think about. Two, I can be on board with.  Definitely two.  So you and two guys from one bullpen can have a save-a-trois.  This is the good/bad problem right now with fantasy baseball.  When do we say when for owning relievers from one team.  We almost need a safe word, and even then we wanna over-rosterbate and leave lineup chafe marks.  The current situations in Houston and Milwaukee are both good and bad.  The good are Chris Devenski and Josh Hader.  The semi-good is Jacob Barnes and Brad Peacock.  The bad is bringing in and rostering Matt Albers and Ken Giles.  I say they are bad only because it brings back the too many hens in the savehouse-type scenario.  Plus, Ken Giles has basically been phased with high-end stuff lately and he of the high draft choice are just wasting away like Dick Gregory on the Bohemian diet.  It is an impossible pill to swallow, that he’s a drop just 15 games into the season, but at what point do you look at your losses and start accruing stats that matter from a coveted relief spot?  (Stats that actually matter.)  No, Greg Holland walks don’t count, ya donkey. So when rostering relievers, think two max.  The only other fourth guy that should be looking at the save circle jerk is if you are comfortable enough having a cameraman.  Stay tuned kiddies, more tidbits of closer-dom after the bump… plus the first in-season 12 Buck Salads, Donkeycorns, Employed, and Freezes!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Speed kills. Whether that be by the arm or legs. But this isn’t no SAGNOF post, this is the weekly look at strictly bullpens.  At what point do we stop looking at velocity and its effectiveness being a correlative?  Probably never, as the statcast era has never looked stronger as geeks type in the square roots of derivatives to figure out the best angle of deflection for them to walk down the stairs in their parents basement.  It’s a tale as old as time, and people like me mock math and numbers because, well… I am lazy.  Numbers always existed, but now they are so finite that you can get a feet per second drop of a the pin that no one can hear.  So maybe I should delve into the fray here and take a look at the early season velocity for closers and how they compare to last year and how they correlate to K success. Velocity isn’t the end all be all of reliever success, but is fully in the forefront when studs like Craig Kimbrel and Kenley Jansen are teetering on slow-pokes compared days of yore.  So I made a hand dandy chart, comparing last years average fastball velocity, K/9 and Swinging strike % to this years to see where the relationship between success, worry and full on panic in the closer realms exist.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The other day I was joined by the best and the brightest Razzball has to offer and Tehol for our annual RCL draft (12 team, mixed league, yadda blabbity bloo).  Our fantasy hockey writer, Viz, who is a professional poker player (hope it’s okay to say that.  If not — oops!), went high/low split (totally talking out of my ass right now) and doubled down on the river, cleaning my chute of a full house of sexy picks.  He has Cody Bellinger, Trevor Story, Ronald Acuna, Bryce Harper, Trey Mancini, Eddie Rosario and Michael Wacha!  That is totally G-rated!  And the G there is for Grey.  On the other hand, I drafted a team that feels like it’s straight out of central casting.  Only problem is the role which is being cast is for a “bounce back candidate who can hit for power and steal a few bases, must also be proficient in Mandarin.”  Orange you glad I didn’t say navel!  What?  Okay, the season’s almost here and I’m straight batty with myself.  Can Ohtani slug better than Alcides and pitch better than Miles Mikolas?  I gotz to know!  (My guess is no and no.  Spring training panic!)  Anyway, here’s my RCL draft:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Holding off on info during the height of draft time is just not my M.O.  So I am bringing the goods and the reliever rankings a week earlier than anticipated.  Why go into battle with a water pistol when you can go with the boomstick?  At this point in the preseason, having a few teams with committee situations is normally a bad thing, except when you get to grab the right guy in that committee.  Having multiple draftable options from one team is more of a benefit than a detriment on draft day, because inevitably one person is going to be wrong in that selection process and it is usually the guy who gets drafted higher.  So looking at the situations with the White Sox, Rangers, Cardinals, and Diamondbacks as they sit today committee’s exist.  Whether we want to believe it or not, each team has no clear cut closer and if you are skimming, this is still a good thing.  Let someone else draft Gregerson, Soria, Parker, and Claudio.  While you can sit back and wait a few picks or even rounds and scoop up Leone, Jones, Bedrosian, and Kela.  As the season draws closer, this advantage will dwindle down to nothing, but for now use it to your advantage.  Miss out on a top 8-10 closer, no worries, load up on the maybe’s and possibilities and if they don’t pan out than you can easily pivot to a more useful option on the waiver.  So when someone says a committee is a bad thing, laugh and agree.  Then drop the quartet of save possibilities into your team and see what happens.  At worst they will cost you four out of your last seven picks.  At that point in the draft, you should have an established team with all starters in place and you would be gambling on reliever talent anyways.  Now you have the knowledge in your corner and a little bit of rankings goodness from ole’ Smokey.  The initial installment of the Closer report with rankings is here, get excited!

Please, blog, may I have some more?