Please see our player page for Brad Ziegler 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.

Jeff McNeil sounds Irish, but, to me, he’s Polish’d.  He’s old, for sure — or fer sure, if you’re a millennial — and seems to have received a bad rep because he’s older.  As a Cougar Hunter, I can attest that, like wine and women who attend bingo competitions at churches, prospects aren’t done at the age of 26.  Sure, we’d prefer players hitting 20 homers at the age of 19 like Sexy Dr. Pepper or doing the breakdancing worm on top of their N’s like Acuña, but all prospects are not the same.  You have to subtract at least two years from McNeil’s age just because he’s on the Mets and they spent that time trying to figure out how to sell tickets to a Jose Reyes/David Wright reunion on the left side of the diamond.  The Reyes/Wright reunion is like if ABC reunited a sitcom and everyone loved the super sweet dad, who they thought was dead, let’s call him David Goodman, but reunited him with a piece of garbage, let’s call him Jose Roseanne.  The Wright part is fine, there’s fond memories, but the Reyes’ part they can leave in the dumpster.  So, McNeil took longer to tap his power, so what?  He can still have four to six years of productivity, because he looks ready to go now.  I’m pumped for him in 2019, but this is about this year, and I’d absolutely grab him.  Dude’s got so much Polish about to call him Jeff McNeilski.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Teams with playoff aspirations are setting their bullpen roles for October. Guys like Johnny Venters have gained a ton of value in holds leagues. Who can you trust for high leverage roles? Let’s jump in and see.

  • With the veteran arms Oakland brought in struggling, Lou Trivino has reemerged as a daily threat to get a hold. The A’s gained faith in him through the first half. He’s back in the circle of trust with nice Ks and ratios. It helps that he pitches for a competitive team.
  • A rogue save went to Ryan Pressly when Roberto Osuna and Hector Rondon were unavailable. That illustrates the faith A.J. Hinch has in him. Pressly has as many holds (7) as anyone the last 30.
  • As a 28-year-old journeyman reliever, there were not many expectations for Richard Rodriguez coming into the season. He didn’t make the big league roster. Ray Searage saw something and turned Rodriguez into his latest reclamation project. To quote Searage on Rodriguez even demeanor, “Maybe because he’s been punched in the face so many times that he says, ‘What the hell, what do I have to lose?’” He certainly hasn’t lost the strike zone with a double-digit K/9 this season, 18 K/9 the last 14 days. When in doubt, bet on a Searage project.
  • Brad Ziegler has thrown his name into the HAGNOF circle. With the Diamondbacks having ninth-inning issues, he could be a SAGNOF candidate soon, too.
  • Apparently, the Braves also acquired a time machine in addition to Johnny Venters. He’s slotted right back into his old role in the Atlanta pen and chalking up holds at a stellar rate. You won’t get many Ks from him these days, but the ratios don’t hurt.
  • Your weekly update on the Cleveland closer see-saw is that Allen got a couple saves this week. I still think he’s more likely to see a hold than save, but it’s a coin flip.

Below you’ll find notable SVH performers…

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I watch all trading deadline deals like I’m watching Hereditary.  Hands firmly pressed over my eyes, occasionally I’ll peek out.  See a Jon Heyman tweet coming and prepare to scream.  Then a long exhale.  “Ah, thank God, it’s not a player I own nor does it affect any of my other guys.”  Then, out of nowhere, Brian Dozier gets traded to the Dodgers and my head goes into a tailspin like it’s a WHOMP on the old Batman TV show.  “But what about Max Muncy?  Can Chris Taylor still play?  What about Kiké?!  Please tell me Kiké’s still in PLAY!”   Then I take 150 milligrams of Percocet and go to the park to watch pre-teens and all of their innocence.  In my head, I scream to them, “You’ll never know my pain!”  And smile lopsidedly until another adult asks me to leave.   So, the Dodgers are now fielding the NL All-Star team from now until October.  Dozier will likely slot into the two or three hole and I still like him for a huge 2nd half.  Max Muncy and Chris Taylor are not likely going to be as fortunate, as I have no idea where the Dodgers can play all of these guys.  If you’ve been burned by the trade deadline, I will smile lopsidedly and creep out someone for you.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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A no innings restriction Alex Reyes = Geez, first time that’s ever happened, usually I last much longer.  Yesterday, Reyes went 4 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 2 Ks as he was activated.  But his rehab told me he was supposed to throw a complete game with 15 Ks!  What gives?  There was some concern his velocity dropped towards the end of yesterday’s start, but it seemed to me more like a situation where he was just gassed from not being able to find the plate, and he confirmed that after the game.  I’m still all-in on Reyes, but he might be more like every other pitcher who has ever had Tommy John surgery than we thought, i.e., lacking command for a month or two to regain mechanics, which is different than a bunch of balding guys at Pep Boys.  That’s Rogaine mechanics.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Howie Kendrick is out for multiple 10-day DLs with a ruptured Achilles injury.  Look at it this way, if Achilles couldn’t come right back from an Achilles injury, how would Kendrick?  He can’t, he’s out for the year.  Enter stage left, Juan Soto.  True story, as I was listening to Prospector Ralph and Lance Broetc. discuss the top 25 prospects for fantasy baseball (clickbait!), every time Ralph would say Juan Soto I’d think he was asking Lance if he wanted soda.  I kept wanting to say, just give him a Dr. Pepper and stop asking if he’s thirsty!  I don’t drink Soto, because it makes me burp, but I’ll tell you what?  I’ve found a special appreciation for La Croix.  Give me flavored seltzer or give me death, as Alan Hale Jr. once said.  Any hoo!  Love, love, lurve what the Nats did.  If you have a guy that’s going to be a superstar?  You call him up!  H to the hockey sticks with an E in between!  If the Blue Jays don’t call up Vlad soon, I will call them the BJs for the rest of eternity.  Ralph has gone over Juan Soto so many times, that it’s silly to reiterate.  Literally, he just wrote a Juan Soto fantasy.  If you’re really lazy and you have wheels on your barcalounger so you can get around, the most succinct is Soto could be a 35/12/.300 hitter during his peak and is 19 years old with extra fizz.  You can expect this year something similar to Bryce Harper’s rookie year — 20/15/.270.  If your eyes don’t bug out on that, you’ve lost feeling in your eyes.  Get them checked.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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…

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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!

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The Miami Jeters are currently cruising on a sub-60 win pace.  Nice if you look at the investment value in terms of dollars and the amount of talent on the field.  Now the once or semi-reliable closer, Brad Ziegler, has puked up another save chance and seen his ERA climb a blood alcohol level of 8.44.  That is a Cherynoblian level that usually results in a quick change, minus Bill Murray dressed as a clown. In the wings are two decent enough options that in most leagues should be owned for their K prowess.  They being Drew Steckenrider and Kyle Barraclough.  A change is coming, as the soft-tossing Ziegler can’t rely on sorcery and garbage to will him through save chances, no matter how few and far between they are.  The Marlins, from a standpoint of we are only winning X amount of games, and can’t afford to lose Y because of a closer who can’t shut the door is just bad for business. I am grabbing Steckenrider before Barraclough just based on games and position of appearances of date.  It is really tough to say though because they have 7 wins, and neither guy has featured more than 4 appearances when the team has been leading.  But Steck has seen more 8th innings, and I like him better because he has a closer makeup. So add accordingly if save speculating is your bag, but with success in closing comes success in the setup game.  And don’t ignore Barraclough either, because he will be in elevated positions as well and since this is the Holds portion of the week, go get him if free.

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The Tigers have filled their corner outfield with eight year olds that would be friends with the little white kid from The Blind Side and Friday Night Lights that won the hearts of stoic football players.  “Gotta go, Mikie. We invited, JaCoby over!”  You know the little white kid aka Brandon Inge.  “Hey, Ron Gardenhire, can we invite Leonys Martin to live with us?”  Ron thinks about it for a second, then, “Sure, if you’ll help me check my blood sugar.”  “Ron, no more Ben & Jerry’s!”  “Aw geez.”  Ron musses Brandon Inge’s hair and they walk off into the sunset, which in Detroit is a spray-painted sun on a wall.  In the doubleheader yesterday, Leonys Martin (3-for-10 and his 3rd and 4th homer) continued his recent brilliance.  This was why I begged numerous past teams to give him a starting job!  Also, in the do-he (totally an abbreviation), Jeimer Candelario (4-for-10, 6 runs) kept being red-hot schmotato hot, hitting his 4th homer, and his 4th homer in the last 11 games, while hitting near-.400 in that time, raising his average almost hundred points.  Candelario also must drink a lot of Mexican tap water, because he’s got the runs!  Then there was Nicholas Castellanos (5-for-9, 5 RBIs, 2 runs, hitting .333, and his 2nd homer).  It’s the Greek God of Hard Contact from the country of Hekindahitit.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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?