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?
Besides pooping, every fantasy baseballian needs to do prep work. Whether that be reading a publication of your choosing or doing a ton of mock drafts. Well, I am going to do you one better than using a mock draft to help steer your hand. I am using actual drafts that people do for money to lend you an ADP hand in the terms of closers. What else would I be doing? After all, I am Smokey, where only you can prevent fantasy bullpen fires. That public service announcement was brought to you by my own personal sponsor of Fischer pillows. Not everyone uses or believes in ADP as a source because some people in mock drafts are crazy, like legitimately Tehol-type crazy. That mock draft data is basically useless, but what if you had a list of drafts that were for actual dinero, and possibly some American money also? The NFBC is a great contest that we here at Razzball take part in and several of our writers have challenged readers, just like you, in these contests. They draw everyday Joe’s and experts from around the deep spaces of fantasy and all compete for money on varying levels of dramatics. Sounds fun? Cool, let me borrow 150 bucks so I can do one too. So I took that data from the past 35 days for a 12-team based ADP and broke it down into two fun categories. Drafts between February 1st and February 20th, and February 21 to March 6th. Just so they sound more legit, the first group had 88 drafts of ADP values to use and the second had 106. The number of ADP resources to draw from will increase by the time we get closer to actual game times, but for now 194 total drafts with data is at your discretion below. Only the closers side of it.
The 2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join with prizes! All the exclamation points!Please, blog, may I have some more?
So the title is a bit of a superlative. What was I gonna say, “The Mostly Kinda Good Fantasy Baseball Team?” You’ll get over your scoffing; I have faith in you. This is the best 2018 fantasy baseball team that I can put together when drafting from my top 100 for 2018 fantasy baseball and top 500 for 2018 fantasy baseball. Honestly, I could draft another 25 teams from those lists, and they’d all be different, but equally terrific… Well, one of the twenty-five would only be sorta terrific, but it would be really hard to tell which one that is. If I took Cody Bellinger in the 2nd round, everything after would change. If I took Arenado in the 1st round, everything after would change. I’ve previously gone over my 2018 fantasy baseball draft prep for the first few rounds and pitchers pairings. For this exercise, I’m taking Mike Trout first, because, well, I have him first overall. Until pick 100, I’m taking one guy somewhere in every fifteen picks. It would be nice if I was in a league where someone drafted Scherzer and Kershaw in the first two rounds and I was able to take Freddie Freeman in the 2nd round (which is very likely), but since Trout and him are in my first 14 picks, according to the rules I’ve set up for myself, I can’t take them both. Then, as we all know, once you get into the 100s, there’s wide gaps between ADP and where players are actually taken. People tend to look at team need over value. So for this exercise, once I get to pick #101, I’m going to pick two players every twenty picks. Finally, because there is so much latitude in the last 300, I gave myself free reign to fill up my team. Throughout the draft, I also gave myself the ability to reach to a lower draft pick, but not reach forward. Or reach around, if you’re feeling frisky. It should still be my ideal team… Or not. Let’s see, shall we? Bee tee dubya, this team is 5×5, one catcher, 5 OFs, MI, CI, 1 UT, 9 P, 3 bench, just like the Razzball Commenter Leagues (go sign up). Anyway, here’s the best 2018 fantasy baseball team:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Now to finish out the positional rankings for 2018 with my favorite: the relievers! I may have went a little crazy here, 3000 words on closers and one stat fellas is just bonkers to think about. I could have just used “save potential” and “hard hit percentage in medium leverage situations” about 40 times in my rankings, but I didn’t. Ranking relievers is an ever changing game of robbing Peter to pay Paul scenario. There are always going to be injuries and attrition, which lead to relievers getting changed and making the preseason rankings look stupid in hindsight. Last year there were 40 relievers that garnered 10 saves or more. Now, if you are keeping track, there are still only 30 teams so my previous sentence about replacement value in relievers is very true. That is why handcuffs and secondary bullpen pieces on draft day are important, not only for saves but to help your cranky ratios that creep up from day-to-day. This ranking is just based on relievers with potential for saves and how they will stack up in that department. Holds post will be something separate and should be forthcoming, though you sure as hell aren’t getting 3000 words on Holds because I’d rather blow my brains out. Still love the Holds game as much as, or even more than any other fantasy writer, just gotta temper expectations as not many other sites give you so much bullpen love as we do. So enjoy the rankings of 2018 fantasy relief pitchers. (It says 50 but I went ahead and did a little extra.) Enjoy!Please, blog, may I have some more?
You shouldn’t have to read tea leaves or do a sneaky scroll down to see who I am talking about in this week’s closer report. If you are new to this guessing game and word association type stuff, it is Brad Hand. Why Brad Hand, I say why not? I hear what you are all saying closers on losing teams are not that fantastic fantasy options, and for the most part you are right. Because the stats behind that prove that… mostly, But we can get into that a little later with handy-dandy stats and percentages and such. So all Brad Hand did last year is basically his job, which in most instances gets you paid. Which he just did by inking an extension this offseason. The stats are all there for him to be a legit closer numero uno, with flair. The flair that I am talking about is kinda like the buttons worn on suspenders at Shenanigans, but only with fantasy intrigue. He boasted a 11.8 K/9 rate last year, amassed 21 saves and 16 holds. All stuff we can read on any fantasy bio sheet. Dig deeper though, and he does have a few kinks in the armor, namely a HR/FB rate that is not what you are looking for in a an elite closer, but he’s being drafted as a number two. He falls just outside the elite though, because he is capped by being on the Padres and their expected win totals… or is he?Please, blog, may I have some more?
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!Please, blog, may I have some more?
So I took a catcher with my first pick in the draft. I’m not one to bury the lead, plus you’re intrigued, no? Whether you stick around to understand my point of view or to ridicule me, you stick around the same. So before we go into my wild dynasty adventure, why don’t I do you the courtesy of explaining what exactly I’m talking about. The Rotowire Dynasty Invitational!!! It’s in the title, stupid. In case you were wondering what any of those words mean. First it’s not a Golf Tournament, though I hear Green Jackets could perhaps be involved. It’s actually a new dynasty league organized by the fair, handsome and illustrious James Anderson of Rotowire. Dynasty lesson numero uno muchacho, always talk about your commissioner in glowing terms. When you finally sucker some poor schlub into sending you Mike Trout for a washed up prospect, a back end of the rotation arm, and a kid with a name you can’t spell, who can’t legally buy tobacco products in Utah, you’re going to need that guy. So James approve my trades, I’ll say nice things. Deal? Moving on, this is a 20 team dynasty league organized by Mr. Anderson and comprised of some of the top names in prospects, dynasty, and just fantasy in general. Also the guy that played George Washington in Turn: Washington’s Spies. Don’t worry, I refer to him as “The General” 100% of the time. Anything less would be uncivilized. Plus little known fact, George Washington is my spirit animal. We both have wooden teeth!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Quick, grab a coin from your pocket. Now hurl it in a river, and imagine it’s at someone in your office two cubicles away. Now mid-flight, make a wish. Get back to me in two-three days and let me know how it went. This luck and wish game is much like the closer game. We hope and pray that all is well, but at the end of the day, we only care about the accumulation. This late in the season its all about the job. Who is doing it and who isn’t, period. The stalwarts are on cruise control into the final stretch of the season and are mostly on more winning teams than the teams that have situations that aren’t the most ideal. Good bullpens usually equal good-to-moderately-good success in real life. Much is the same with fantasy closer investment and going into next year if you struggled for saves this year. Invest in teams that will have aspirations of playoff baseball. The investment in drafting a round or two earlier than usual should pay off in the long run of the ever treacherous 180 days of fantasy baseball. So with the season winding down, let’s see what is happening in the saves market around the game as we transition into fantasy football, basketball, hockey and SOCCER!Please, blog, may I have some more?
There are two times of the year taxing comes about. Once at the beginning of the fantasy baseball season for legal tax reasons, and then about now in September. The Yankees seem to be flip-flopping useful relievers from one to another as they all seem to be getting worn. So Aroldis Chapman with some wear and tear eased off his arm is going to be worked back into the clutch-save position for the Yanks. Betances over the past 14 days has maintained his K/9 rate of over 15, but at the expense of his ERA (7.91), and his BB/9 rate has spiked all the way up to near 8 per 9. That is the stuff that gets people fired or demoted. (Which is exactly what is happening in his case.) I can see him dropping to a lesser role for the next week or so and being used in less pivotal situations. Allowing Robertson and Chad Green to show what they got in front of the flame-throwing Cuban. Aroldis’ last 14 games have been a far improvement over his last 14. Era was only 2.70, K/9 way below his standard at 10.80. The bad department is that he hasn’t really been used too much. So as he gets back on the bike in closer role and the season comes to an end soon, let’s see what else is going down in the world of saves…Please, blog, may I have some more?
It is that time of the year when usual bullpen scenarios start to rear their ugly heads. The terms “falling back to earth” and “gassed” take hold of even the veteran of bullpens. That seems to be the case in the rock pile in Colorado with Greg Holland. Cruising along and then bam, that reliever wall hits. Especially for someone of his ilk that is coming off a few lost seasons with arm woes. I usually say 50 innings is about when we start seeing it, but that number varies by innings in previous years, pressure situations, and the leverage that those situations come with. The unfortunate thing is that with Greg the last two are very prominent. He is fourth in the league amongst relievers in pressure situations, fifth in pitching with the lead, and the last four games are an indicator that he may be spinning his wheels a bit. Three blown saves in his last five appearances and only 2 saves since August started. Not encouraging news for a team that is honing in or trying to hone in on a playoff spot. The good thing for Holland owners is that he looks to be given some leash here, but with proven relievers with semi-reliable numbers behind him, like Jake McGee and Pat Neshek, the need for a cuff here is paramount as the fantasy playoffs and season winds down. Every save counts when you start losing them from a reliable source. That is the worst predicament when projecting out the rest of the year to see if you have enough horses to get you to the finish line. McGee and then Neshek are the adds for a just in case situation as Holland could be given a breather for a day or three. Let’s see what else is going down in the land after starters…Please, blog, may I have some more?