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Howdy, folks.

Another doozy of a week. I don’t know what it is about this year, but hamstrings and shoulders are DOOMED. Feels like 90% of the injuries I keep getting updates about are “hamstring tightness” or “pulled up lame” or “sore shoulder” or “shoulder inflammation.” Ugh.

If by some stroke of insane luck you’ve managed to avoid injury to this point, no doubt this week the fantasy baseball gods deemed you unworthy after all. I told you in the title that I had bad news. Well, let’s get to it:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Stephen Strasburg went 6 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 2 walks, 8 Ks. And, um. That’s roughly one-thousand percent surprising. Take every cat that’s every jumped out of a closet in a movie and put ’em together and you have a catomic bomb of shock and it’s less shocking than how well Strasburg pitched. Take the “I see dead people” twist and put it in The Crying Game “ding dong” twist and that’s nowhere nearly as surprising. Take a surprise party where the guest of honor has a heart attack and you have something, okay, about that surprising. Yet. Dot dot dot. Still don’t trust Strasburg. If you have him, then I wish you well, but it would not be me. Now I’m simply second-guessing whether or not my fears were for naught. By the way, try to say “naught” without sounding like you’re in a movie in South Boston with Ben Affleck. You simply cannot. “Where’s my munchkins?” “I went to Dunkies and they were out.” “Naught?” “Naught.” See what I mean? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It seemed like a nothing move at the time. Just a transactional move that people would forget about within hours, if not minutes. Just ten days ago, the Nats announced they would be demoting Carter Kieboom. Then, before leaving town, Carter Kieboom watered down all the hand sanitizer. Now Patrick Corbin, Yan Gomes, Josh Bell, Brad Hand (ah HA!), Will Harris, Josh Harrison, Alex Avila, Jon Lester, Jordy Mercer and Kyle Schwarber are all on the IL, as the Nats recalled Luis Garcia and Kieboom. “Kieboom goes my flight to the minors!” That’s Carter Kieboom as he mixed a cocktail of Palmolive and Capri Sun into the hand sanitizer bottles. “These stupid straws!” That’s Kieboom struggling to get the juice out of the plastic-metal pouches. Wow, Kieboom is not being very stealth. So, it sucks if you had Hand, Schwarber, Corbin, Bell…Well, the guys there you might’ve had. Hopefully, they all return shortly. For all these moves, the only guy I grabbed in leagues was Tanner Rainey, who might now get saves, but Daniel Hudson is also there, so that’s a crapshoot too. “All these crapshoots and I should clean my hands…Hey, why does this soap smell like tropical punch?” Off to the side, snickering, “More like Crappy Sun!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You know what is fun this time of year?  The bullpen shuffle.  Whomever is closest to the computer or phone wins the waiver game in most cases.  Well… that’s now the case with the Padres with the trade of Brad Hand to the Indians.  The waiver wire is set ablaze for one Kirby Yates, but is he the guy forever, or the guy for now?  I am leaning that the trade door in San Diego is gonna revolve one more time and see Yates come out the other side a bullpen piece rather than a closing man.  Hand’s still a valuable commodity, granted he won’t be a full-time closer with the Tribe, but his peripherals and Cody Allen‘s shakiness as of late… will lead to a “sometimes” situation.  Hand is a hold in all leagues because he should get a shot for every third save or so with his new club.  Add in the K-rate over 13 and he has intrigue that only a dozen or so non-closers have. Back to Yates though, since this is the afternoon post and Grey has gone over it this morning and most likely will after this in his buy post, but Yates has value for now.  In fact, he’s had value for most of the year in holds leagues, with a 11+ K/9 and a ton of success in the setup game in the reliever farm known as the Whale’s Vagina. So why am I so hesitant to give him the go?  He is a journeyman reliever whose value is never going to be higher than right now, or in eight days with some saves to his name.  So if you swung and missed at the waiver wire add for saves with Yates, grab Craig Stammen for free and just wait.  Waiting is always a good thing, especially with a maybe-closer in the making, albeit one with not much quantity potential.  More bullpen goodies and post all star tidbits after the bump.  Cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome to the bi-monthly look at nose picking.  Nah, I am obviously talking about bullpens, because they usually come in second to the nose goblins anyways.  Lots of people always ask me: How do you shuffle between holds guys and get an effective return?  First off, if you wanna surf the waiver trend and stream the hell out of relievers for holds purposes, you gotta be aware that you can’t be afraid to let your ratios go to pot.  Not like move to Colorado and play Bohemian drums and stuff, just the trends that I have encountered and noticed is that with the quantity in holds there comes a slight tick to ERA and WHIP.  Not an awful turn of events, if you you have sufficient starters that hold down the metrics.  I don’t even know if metrics was the right word there, but I just saw a commercial for a tutoring service for kids… ummm, its summer.  So back to the picking a winner lede discussion…  When in doubt, pick a winner, four of the top-five hold accumulating teams are in first place.  Six out of the top-10.  I wish I can make the cliche statement that bullpens win games and have it be unique and quirky and new, but quality bullpens don’t not hurt your teams chance at winning. So if you are looking at streaming or even in the business for flip-flopping relievers in this high holy season of the All Star break, ask yourself two questions; how has he done over the last two weeks, and is his team scoring enough runs for the quantity?  Because any good reliever needs to be worth the squeeze.  And it doesn’t hurt to be a front-running team.  So choose wisely, and for all intents and purposes hit me up.  Never hurts to ask the guy who sleeps in bullpen pajamas.  More bits of tid after the jump, cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

Choosing the right closer is hard enough when there is only one to choose on draft day.  Tons of factors to guide your hand…  Jump forward 50-plus games and when the situation has multiple faces and not a ton of situations from which to choose: is it worth the squeeze?  The White Sox closer situation has gone from one, to a few, and back again multiple times this year, and now it has swung back to Joakim Soria after garnering the last two saves.  The conundrum here is that Nate Jones had gotten the previous three save chances.  Than if you scroll the calendar even farther, Jace Fry got a save and retread Bruce Rondon also factored in on one occasion in mid-May.  So with a team that only has 13 saves all year, better than only one other team, the Marlins (who are a complete and utter disaster for saves). So when chasing saves, and we all do it, even you, the guy who can’t make eye contact way in the back…  It is part of the FAAB chase and the most alluring I might add and frequent drain of funds. So with a team that has flip-flopped three times in 50 games, with 13 saves and on pace for a MLB bottom-three in save chances, is it worth the headache of this guy or that guy?  I wanna root for the Mexecutioner, and some guy named Nate, but they are basically like part-time lovers, and I would rather stream the spot with great counting stats that matter.  Soria’s K/9 is in the mid-10’s which is admirable, but on a game-to-game basis, the save chase comes down to volume, not the here and now.  Yes, Soria should be owned, and yes Jones should be owned.  But I am just bringing this up for your sake of saves hope.  If you can pair either one of them at the right time, obviously when they are on a hot streak of two saves in 10 days, do so and upgrade your save booty.  Advice over, bits of tid to follow.  Cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Times like this you wish Noah Syndergaard wasn’t complaining of a ligament strain and just had a bad lisp.   “Oh no! My finger is Thor, and it needs a Syndergaard.”  More like Noah Fingergaard!  Noah Syndergaard hit the DL with a finger ligament strain.  I’m fully aware that at least one person in every league ignored my advice to ignore Syndergaard and drafted him very early, so I will do something I’ve never done before, not gloat.  True story, my crazy aunt used to say I gloated all the time behind her back (I did) and I drove her into a mental asylum.  See, when I say my ‘crazy’ aunt, I’m being literal!  So, without gloating, let me just say when a pitcher proves himself to be injury prone, take his word for it.  His Synderwoord?  DeGrom’s already had a dislocated elbow, and my money’s on him getting injured at some point again soon too.  Same goes for Kershaw.  Not trying to be harsh, it’s just truth bombs.  If you own Syndergaard, hope he returns relatively soon, but this is the kind of injury that sidelines a pitcher for an entire season.  Sorry, another truth bomb.  Oh, and the Mets said Syndergaard can return in ten days.  What’s the opposite of a truth bomb?  That’s what that is.  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?

“Three little kids run into frame — let’s aim for an Asian, white and black kid — then they scream, ‘Hey, it’s Mac Williamson our favorite pimp!’ Then Mac enters in a fedora and fur coat and hands out lollipops that say ‘All day suckers’ and inside the lollipop wrappers are condoms.  Can you dig it?”  That’s Melvin Van Peebles on the set of the now-classic blaxploitation film, Hopefully Pence Is Shafted.  So, first things first, will Mac Williamson lose playing time to Pence, when he returns?  Have no idea what Bruce Bochy and his size 9 hat is going to do with The Gangly Manbird.  “Can The Gangly Manbird do it with a donkey?  Can you dig it?”  That’s Melvin again.  My guess is Pence will play, but Pence hasn’t really played for two years now, and Mac Williamson, the blaxploitation film star, is playing now and that’s all that matters.  Well, also his power.  It’s insane.  He has 9 homers in 16 games this year between Triple-A and the majors.  He could hit 30+ homers without even breaking a sweat.  Except when bedding two ladies, while putting another two to work.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?