Please see our player page for Craig Stammen 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.

It’s trade deadline season already? It feels like the season just started. Well, sometimes one’s feels are the correct feels, and sometimes one’s feels are the type of feels that have you on a first date snorting through tears that your daddy never hugged you. Today, I’m having the right feels. This feels weird. The season just started and teams are buyers and sellers. This is all so nuts. We will never see another season like this in our lifetime (barring a strike, then we might see this in 18 months). Never again will the league sit out for Covid. Even if there’s an outbreak next year with no vaccine, teams will just go into bubble mode in March. This past year happened because people didn’t know what they didn’t know. The ‘what we know now stuff’ is the Mariners sent Taijuan Walker to the Buffalo Bleu Jays. A better team is a greater than symbol, but ballpark A doesn’t equal ballpark B. This isn’t a great move for Walker to Buffalo’s Wild Winds, but there’s only about six starts left for pitchers, so Streamonator. I do think Taijuan Walker has become a fascinating name for 2021. His 8.3 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 are back up to where he was pre-Tommy John (surgery, not underwear), and back then he was a 3.50-ish ERA pitcher. That was in an easier league, but also a bad park. He becomes a free agent this offseason, so we’ll see where he is pitching next year, but I’m way more interested in him now vs. later. Yum, those candies were good! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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

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Raise your hand if the juiced ball isn’t affecting your high priced pitcher yet. Not so fast Blake Snell owners, he’s on the IL with a broken toe via clumsy furniture moving. You’re going to be in the mean streets of relief appearances with the rest of us now. You can throw on some REM and cry in the shower or work at filling some gaps. A well-aimed non-closer can certainly pay dividends. There’s something below for whatever ails you. I don’t include anyone getting regular saves in the ranks.

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Do you own Trea Turner, he of a broken finger? Welcome to the chase for speed with the rest of us schlubs. So much changes in just a week this early on. Keep that in mind as the season unfolds. Too often owners look to trade a strength that can become a deficit with a single poorly gripped bunt attempt. Dig for steals and saves at every turn. It’s SAGNOF time!

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Year after year, Kole Calhoun (3-5% FAAB) continues to be an excellent replacement in fantasy leagues. This week we witnessed a significant loss in Aaron Judge, and necessary moves must occur to recreate some of that stat-line. With 9 HR in July alone, Calhoun could be one of the better power producers available for the rest of the season. All of the Statcast data suggests that his year has been extremely unlucky. His overall Barrel% is higher than ever, the BABIP is ready to jump back up, and the Hard Hit% is on par with his career rate. If your team is losing outfielders, pay a little bit extra to get the consistency that Calhoun brings to the table. July was a massive month for him, look for that to continue as his numbers should continue to bounce back more towards the norm.

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As we begin the second half of the season, it is important to remember the vitality of FAAB bidding during the stretch run. Free agency becomes crucial with only a couple months left in the fantasy season, trade deadlines approaching, and budgets dwindling. If you keep up with the FAAB Five every week, I should be saving you cash on names like Nick Pivetta, Max MuncyRoss Stripling, and others providing consistent value above other waiver names.

Another tricky part with late-season FAAB is navigating a lackluster list of players. At this point in your league, teams are most likely stashing the best prospects (or they’re hurt: R.I.P. Tatis Jr’s Thumb), and most players that will contribute significant value, like Jesus Aguilar, are already in the loving gaze of another owner’s eyes. I will continue to scour the depths of the waivers each week to provide the names I find most value possible, giving people ample amount of money to use throughout the Dog Days of Summer.

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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!

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The news that Hunter Strickland has fallen down and needs a time out for punching a door has sent a reliever ripple effect down the closer ranks.  Since this is the Holds week and this is the most pertinent info going, I figured we would roll with anyways.  So roll with the suspenseful animation of holds love and glory for a little bit, and while you are at it, temper your expectations of reliever-dom as we dive into the Giants reliever sitch.  So Strickland got all mad, punched a door, broke his hand.  The Giants are not short of ex-closers that have had time in the limelight.  Sam Dyson gets the first look as expected, because Mark Melancon is not ready for prime time… yet. Dyson got the first save chance, nice!  Smooth sailing.  Then on Thursday?  Yaks up 2 runs and gets yanked for a guy I just brought to light in Reyes Moronta.  The story isn’t that intriguing as I wish there was some Usual Suspects twist where Mark Melancon was Bruce Bochy all along and he just uses the nickname ‘Verbal’  from his me-ma.  Dyson seems to be the guy, until the trust level is at a reasonable level of fortitude for the previous 52 million dollar man in Melancon.  The Giants aren’t going anywhere fast, so involving assets of tradeability like MM and Dyson are a boon to not only your fantasy team, but real life baseball.  So the Giants may start to implore an Oprah approach to saves.  You get a save, and you get a save, and you get a save!  The save chase is great and fun until you are on the losing end of it.  So enjoy the stat heist that you may have with Dyson, soon to be Melancon, and eventually everyone.  More saves and holds goodies after the bump.  Cheers!

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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!

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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!

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