Please see our player page for Blake Treinen 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.

Welcome to week 4 — the week where all the data finally makes sense and the futures of every player become written in stone! Not really — that’s kind of the wonky thing about baseball — it might take years to make effective predictions about player performance (see Greinke comma Zack). For me, May is where I start to vaguely pay attention to baseball again because the stats are meaningful again. DFS becomes a bit more predictable, and the rest of us fantasy ballers (Grey’s mom’s word) are ready to spew out meaningful and actionable takes. Like, “Sit that clown Lucas Giolito! I kid, I would never bad-mouth a White Sox player [stares at Dylan Cease]. 

Let’s learn about some interesting players! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So, Sean Manaea and the A’s are both heading south. Manaea to the Padres, and the A’s metaphorically, as they trade away one of their last pieces. Frankie Montas walking around the A’s clubhouse like that Will Smith meme. No, the other one. No, not that one. No, he’s not smacking anyone. The one where he’s by himself. The long-awaited sequel, No Moneyball, being directed by Werner Herzog, and it’s a grizzly bear mauling teddy bears dressed in A’s jerseys. Any hoo! I’ve loved Sean Manaea for a long time now, writing a Sean Manaea sleeper, and nothing changes on any of that. With the humidor in Petco, and lack of three miles of foul territory, Manaea’s ratios might take a hit, while his Wins get a boost. We’ll have to see if this is the Manaecea the Padres need. Pun points! Okay, the top 40 starters were updated. The top 100 for 2022 fantasy baseball, and the top 500 for 2022 fantasy baseball. Haven’t moved Mike Clevinger yet, but it sounds like he’s starting the year on the IL with knee soreness. He was never throwing a full season, nor Nick Martinez, so I’m slow-playing what to do with them for now. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in Spring Training for 2022 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well hello there, Razz-folken!

Sorry, I’m working my way through Stephen King’s Dark Tower series (on Book 6 of seven — fantastic, trippy, masterful stuff), which contains some very interesting folken indeed. So that’s where that came from.

I’ve got some news for y’all. I am no longer the Injury Guru around these parts. I had my fill of ’em last year, let me tell you. Not sure my brain could handle tracking all that madness for another season (assuming we even get a full one…). Alas, the ever-so-talented-and-witty Keelin Billue will be manning the Ambulance Chasers column. Instead, I’ve become the official Bullpen Guru of Razzball! In addition to the weekly SAGNOF recaps, I’ll be in charge of our brand-spankin’ new Bullpen Chart, tracking who’s closing and who’s setting up across the MLB. Side note: I’m still waiting for the day SVHD becomes the standard category.

What I’ve got for y’all is just a good old-fashioned tiered ranking (catered toward the 12-team standard 5×5 audience). I could pretend I’m doing this for the people, but really this is as much for me as it is for you, dear reader. I’ve had my fantasy hockey helmet on, helping Viz over the on the Razzball Hockey side of things. Haven’t paid the best attention to the goings on in MLB — I could use a little brush up on how bullpens are looking.

Welp, I’ll quit dillydallying and get right to it. I’ll update these rankings eventually as things change throughout the course of the offseason. Some big names are still homeless as of now (you can find notes on them under the rankings themselves). These rankings stem from a combination of my genius brain and Rudy’s projections, which of course you can see over on the World Famous Razzball Player Rater.

I lied; I’ve got a little more dillydallying to do. I want to make it clear this is a focus solely on guys in closer situations. I’m looking at this through the lens of saves. I would personally rather own a Devin Williams type than a crappy closer like Cole Sulser in most instances, but I didn’t want to jumble up my tiers with guys who aren’t likely to get saves with any kind of regularity. Devin Williams, Craig Kimbrel, Jonathan Loaisiga, etc. do not appear in what you’ll see below. Maybe I’ll get around to some HAGNOF rankings, but you can always pop over to the Bullpen Chart and the Player Rater to find guys to help you with holds. And one last note: even though you see numbered rankings, they’re more of a formality. I treat everyone pretty much equally within their respective tiers, and it could shake out to where any one of them could out-rank the other. Is that a cop out for “hindsight is 20/20” purposes? Maybe! Oh, and the stats you see are 2021’s totals. Duh.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here you will find bullpen charts for each team. Bullpens are a messy business to track, but the purpose here is to highlight each team’s closer(s) and setup men. You can more or less expect the chart to read left-to-right in order of importance, but again, it can be a fluid situation day-to-day, week-to-week (looking at you, Tampa Bay Rays!). So, not only are we highlighting saves options, we’ve got you saves+holds folks covered, too! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH OR $13/MONTH WITH AN EXTRA WEEKLY PODCAST.)

J.D. Martinez was first to the Just Dong nickname, even though recently Jeff Bezos tried to co-op it himself:

Well, put aside your Dongs, Just and Jeff! There’s a new Just Dong in the picture. It’s J.D. Davis aka Jonathan Davis Davis aka Jefferson Davis Davis aka Just Dong Davis. Was surprised to see him only rostered in 35% of ESPN leagues, so ding-ding Just Dong, you’re eligible for the Buy column! Back in 2019, Jonathan Davis Davis had his star mitzvah, which had us all scratching our heads, “Did the Astros really lose a trade to the…Mets?” Appizzarently, they did. The only thing stopping J.D. Davis from taking that next step was. Dot dot dot. His health. But he’s good now, and he has himself a rocket ship to the rotating planet of Third Outfielder With Rising Fantasy Value. It’s an outlying planet, but it’s worth making space on your team. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At 41 years of age, thus begins Nelson Cruz‘s 2nd act where he becomes a lights-out reliever. You might be thinking, why would the Rays trade for Nelson Cruz? Well, MLB announced a Silver Fox Program where they will give money to seniors who need caretakers, so the Rays can get a $250/week stipend. “Eat your stewed carrots, Nelson.” “Not now, Brett Phillips! I’m up at-bat!” Wait until Nelson Cruz gets a load of Yandy Diaz’s 34-inch pythons and -4 Launch Angle. He’s gonna be like, “Yo, Yandy, have you considered upper cutting a tad?” Nelson Cruz about to make himself and Yandy better. So, Nelson Cruz was traded to the Rays for Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman. I’ll leave those to Prospect Itch to go over. Though, the Rays do seem to just wave their hand and say, “You will give us what we want,” like they’re Obi Wan. As for Cruz’s new fantasy value? C’mon. He’s 41, and can hit it out of Yellowstone. No new value. Cruz hasn’t had something new since he got an earring in 1987 when he was running with the Brat Pack. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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! 

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Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, especially you Mets fans. Y’all pumped or what? Cleveland _______ fans, I’m sorry. Tank time. How’s Cleveland Tanks sound for a new moniker to put in that blank? Tanks are…cool, right? World of Tanks is a kinda popular game, no?

Alrighty, folks, here’s the best of this past week in offseason baseball (with a different format cuz I like to shake it up):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We know spring training is fully underway when a bunch of arms break. We’re sure to see more as soreness becomes less general and more devastating to our early drafts. The four-tier format is back for our closer report. This week, pandemic foodstuff themed tiers. I’d laugh but for fear that might cause me to cough resulting in those nearby turning mob justice on me. Let’s get to some news and notes on the reliever front first.

  • Emmanuel Clase – He of the hardest cutter in baseball is starting his Cleveland career off on a sour note. A back strain will likely sideline him for 8-12 weeks. This opens the door for fellow reliever wunderkind James Karinchak to solidify a leverage role. If you want a job relieving for Cleveland just have a hard to spell name, throw gas, and be in your early 20’s.
  • Jose Alvarado – Don’t look now but Alvarado looks sharp as ever. But Roto-Wan, Nick Anderson is *the* it closer of draft season?!? I have no issue with Anderson’s stuff, just his role. He factors into their ninth inning, no doubt. Let me ask you this, though. He saved some games for them last year since they’re a team that’s the most progressive in leverage roles, right? No? Ok, well he came over from Miami, who’s bullpen was a collection of molding leftovers. He racked up a bunch of saves there, surely? How about one save. Well, at least he’s a young prospect? Turns 30 in June. I don’t mean to rain on your Nick Anderson parade, and by “don’t” I mean I do, but he’s far from a lock. I’m betting on Alvarado seeing some of their saves as the lefty side of a committee in every league I draft that uses RPs.
  • Brandon Kintzler – Things are not off to a great start this spring for the presumptive Marlins closer. Like, walking four straight batters bad. I’d consider a spec play on Ryne Stanek early on.
  • Ryan Helsley – I’m not the Helsley guy but some people I respect (see: Matt Thompson, Nick Pollack) have made it a point to draft the young Cardinal in the late rounds. Their ninth inning is a mess to predict, as usual. Helsley also has an outside shot at the rotation it seems, depending on the health of their assumed starters.
  • Trevor Rosenthal – Rosie is the latest zombie reliever. He’s always been able to light up radar guns. He just has zero command at times, as in most of the time. The command seems to be there this spring, however. KC would love to add any talent it can to baseball’s most mediocre bullpen.
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?

Much like the classic Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium (MECC) PC game, The Oregon Trail, we finish our bullpen parade out west. Apologies if the research in this post is light, I stayed up all night playing TOT on the Wayback Machine. Suck it deer, I shot so many of you I can’t even carry all the meat. Much like the game, your journey to saves accumulation is a series of decisions fraught with peril. Do your best not to die of dysentery. In this example, Wade Davis is dysentery.

AL East AL Central AL West

NL East NL Central NL West

Please, blog, may I have some more?