Please see our player page for Buck Farmer 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. 

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Welp, wasn’t expecting to be writing this lede today. I had gone over Ian Anderson already writing, “Expected to be called up. I already own him in one NL-Only league. *drops ass, twerks nasty-like, someone enters to TikTok me and I let them not expecting that to ever come back to haunt me* Would I own Anderson in a mixed league? Well…His command looks a little suspect and that could lead to a huge blow up and I’m not really interested in that in mixed leagues yet. Long-term for keepers? I’d guess he’s owned, or your league is shallow. He was on Itch’s top 150 dynasty pitchers, right behind Kyle Wright, who just did bad stuff to one of my teams, and I could see the same from Anderson.” And that’s me quoting me! Then, yesterday happened: 6 IP, 1 hit, 1 ER, 2 walks, 6 Ks, holding the Yankees hitless in 5 1/3 IP. Guess I have to dig in deeper. He was working a 96 MPH fastball, and a 87 MPH change, which had hitters off-balance. The arm speed looked to devastate Yankees’ hitters trying to pick up the change. It is apparently his best pitch. Appeared to be. He also has a solid curve that drops from above the zone into the bye-bye-thanks-for-playing. Don’t think his command is all the way there, but I’m interested now in mixed leagues vs. before yesterday’s game. See, I’m not as Thick as a Brick, Ian Anderson. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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.
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When Donkey Teeth asked me to take some of the team previews I let him know that I would take a bunch of the bottom of the barrel teams that no one else with pride or self-respect would want to write about. Yea, there’s a lot of sex appeal and glory writing about the Yankees, Astros, and Dodgers — but only the truly down-and-dirty fantasy writers will try to find fantasy relevance on the Tigers and Orioles! Turns out — there’s actually a few slightly dim — but still moderately bright fantasy spots on the Tigers.

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I kicked off the bullpen parade last week with the AL East. It’s a safe place for us reliever analysts with mostly secure jobs and quality arms. The tradeoff for that comfort is following it up with the AL Central. The odds are far better that all five of these projected closers will be changed out than none of them being replaced. There isn’t a ton of depth either. I suppose that’s what happens when you refuse to spend money. Let’s push through this muck like a swamp on dagobah and hope a little green man imparts us some wisdom in rearranged syntax. Did no one else take a hit of acid for this? Just me? Ok. Fire up the Rage Against the Machine and on to the pens.

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The trade deadline has passed, the deals are done, and those of us who spent the better part of Wednesday glued to social media can now move on with our lives.  Hopefully the deadline brought some deals that pleased you from a fantasy standpoint, because we’ve still got eight weeks of baseball left — time to press on and put your nose to the fantasy baseball grindstone.  Which brings us to why we’re here:  to look at a handful of names that might be of interest to those of us in NL-only, AL-only, and other deep leagues.

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Welcome to the home stretch, boys, gals, and in-betweens. Like we discussed last week, the two-start starters list has been dwindling due to expanded rosters, young arms having their innings limited, and many teams opting for six-man rotations as a result. This week, with many teams also having an off day, there are fewer than 30 options for two-start starters. (By the way, fogimon, will you be watching Corey Kluber’s second start tomorrow? #KissyEmoji)

There are still some options for two-start streamers, however. Checking in with Streamonator, here are the two-start starters for this week with a positive dollar value who are owned in less than 75% of RCLs:

  • German Marquez COL, $16.80, 20%
  • Jharel Cotton OAK, $5.60, 18%
  • Blake Snell TB, $4.70, 31%
  • Tyler Mahle CIN, $1.70, 1%
  • Dan Straily MIA, $0.70, 53%

Despite the light list, we still have five starters with positive dollar values. Of the names on this list, I like Marquez and Straily the most. Snell I would gamble on if I needed to, but I would stay away from Cotton and my cousin Tyler Mahle (not really my cousin).

Marquez shines through this week because of his matchups: at San Francisco and at San Diego. Two teams who have struggled mightily at the plate, and he gets them in their pitcher-friendly ballparks. He is not without risk, but you could not ask for two better matchups.

I’m not sure how Straily is still only owned in 53% of RCLs, but sign me up for that, too. His matchups aren’t as good (vs. Mets and at Diamondbacks) because of that trip to Arizona, but I am still willing to roll with him over the others on the list.

Snell is meh, but he doesn’t scare me as much as Cotton or Mahle. Despite their positive value, if I am in need of starts in H2h playoffs, I am not going near either of those two. Their potential for disaster outweighs any value they provide, at least in my eyes. Stay away and save yourself.

And now, to the charts!

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As the sun sets on another month of action in the baddest dynasty league this side of Bangkok. We check in on the happenings of the Razz30. By now the reputation of the Crab Army has reached the farthest corners of the earth scarring everyone from Rudy Poo Giants to Kim Jong Un. While controversy has been lacking the past month or so, the Crabs have been patiently waiting for their next beef. Who wants it? Will a challenger emerge? A question that in all likelihood will remain unanswered. So what have we been up to? The reality is as simple as a pancake but as complex as a transmission. The short answer, a little this, and a little that. We’ve bonded over looming and the softness of a homemade Turkish bath towel. We asked the hard questions like, is the Brewers Jared Hughes a serial killer as his ESPN profile picture implies? We also contemplated polyamory, and discussed its merits and disadvantages. In addition to all these things, the Crab Army General, Nick the Dick, and I engaged in a torrid platonic love affair, only matched by Balki and Cousin Larry. Oh, and as always we battled in a high stakes game of fantasy baseball. A game where life or death will literally lay in the balance. As the bottom two teams in each league face death by cannibalism at the end of the season. This is the only way to maintain strength in our ranks. We must dispose of any weakness, by digesting the weak, and regurgitating their remains for our seeds to feast. This is the Razz30 update for June. Claws Up!!!

 

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When Ryan Zimmerman hits a homer, they should play the Coming to America clip where Murphy says, “In dee face,” at the basketball game.  Speaking of Africa (sentence intro commonly found on fantasy baseball blogs), why is it called Out of Africa if it’s in Africa?  Granted, I’ve never seen that movie, but the one thing I know about it is that it is in Africa!  Straight Outta Compton is in Compton, but they get OUTTA OF COMPTON!  This post is brought to you by Meryl Movie Lovers, or MeMoLos, as they’re commonly referred.  Two more homers for Ryan Zimmerman yesterday, bringing his season total to 19 homers.  Shame I didn’t believe in him (and still don’t).  Why do I have more doubt than Meryl Streep in a habit?  Answer me that, MeMoLos!  He’s 32 years old, and, in his last two years, he had 15 and 16 homers.  In eleven years, he’s only topped 26 homers once.  So, don’t even give me that crap that I should’ve seen this coming.  He’s hitting .372!  Last year, he hit .218 and .249 the year before, and only hit over .300 one year in his career.  He’s not having a career year.  Nope.  He’s combining all of his years together into one year, putting them into a Magic Bullet, pulverizing them for five minutes and drinking it.  And, like Meryl sold French cuisine to an American audience in Julie & Julia, I’m still selling Zimmerman.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?