I mean, who doesn’t like a good old Kenny Rogers reference?  I appreciate it, but was more keen on Islands in the Stream, which in reality still works for this post.  This week, I wanna focus y’alls attention on when to keep relievers of hold value or when to fold them and grab someone new.  I wanted to bring this up because the near-leader in holds currently is Juan Nicasio.  (Who for all intents and purposes is a fantastic Holds pitcher when you just take into account the hold total of 12.  Which trails only Archie.)  The hold total is great for holds leagues says captain obvious.  The peripheral stuff is absolutely poop though. Commander Poop, for the full nautical theme.  He checks none of the boxes from the non-hold league boxes, his  K-rate is just a tick above 9, HR/9 at 2.0, a BAA over .300 and an ERA over 6…  Those are not the four checks that I was referring too.  So for mixed leagues, the guys you want to own are all over these standards: The K-rate has to be at or above 11 K/9, which includes over 60 relievers in baseball. HR/9 has to be tiny, think under 0.50, BAA against has to be anything at or below league average of .243.  And lastly, the ERA has to be respectful, but not the end-all-be-all of determinations, because unluckiness does happen with relievers.  So when doing your homework for reliever adds, make a checklist of those three stats and let the ERA be the tie-breaker in determining your add.  In holds leagues, quantity does matter, but if you are only going to eat one banana why buy the whole bunch and let them ruin all the other categories?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Hello, I’m here to visit The Sciosciapath.”  “We need to see your ID, and, if you’re carrying any sharp items, you have to leave them here.”  I empty my pockets and show the guard my ID.  The Mental Institution of Major League Managers is a relic from the 50’s, a product of discarded patients suffering moral treatment.  There’s Ron Washington chewing on a piece of chalk.  At least, I think it’s chalk.  Over there, Terry Collins is pretending a yo-yo is his arm.  Finally, I see The Sciosciapath, bifocals low on the bridge of his nose, carrying a clipboard.  He is a patient, but thinks he’s the megalomaniacal head physician.  He muahaha’s as he sees me, and screams at a discarded piece of meatloaf, “I told you to run, Darin Erstad!”  Any hoo!  C.J. Cron has finally emerged from the shadow of failed psychiatry in Anaheim and is putting up a season we thought always possible.  This is so unsurprising.  He was obviously a 27-homer hitter for the last few years as The Sciosciapath played everyone else.  If Cron is available in your league, grab him and stop screaming at your meatloaf.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week 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!

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According to Elias Sports Bureau, Nick Kingham retired the most batters to start a game since 1961 in a debut.  Elias Sports Bureau also said, “There were sixteen cracks in the 5th floor’s tile closest to the bathroom, which is a new record for cracks in a tile.”  Yo, Elias Sports Bureau might have OCD.  On our top 100 starts of 2018 chart, Kingham registered in the top 10.  According to Baseball-Reference, he’s the first pitcher to debut with 7+ IP and not have a baserunner reach scoring position.  According to Kent Tekulve, Kingham was the first pitcher in a 1979 Pirates uniform not high on cocaine since Tekulve.  In all, a terrific debut for Kingham — 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 9 Ks.  Originally, the Pirates planned on a one-and-done, hit-and-run, wham-bam-thank-you, young-man start for Kingham and see him get sent right back down, but they rightfully are having him travel with the team, and appear to be keeping him up.  His Triple-A numbers (10.7 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 1.59 ERA) say this is the right move.  I’d hold off for now in mixed leagues, but you should cyclops him with a monocle.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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I have gone over the preseason, in-season, and shortly in 5-6 months, the postseason love for all things Tim Anderson.  No, the another SB dude from the other, other side of Chicago.  Which in my mind is a triangle, or from the angle that I am drinking at, it’s a complete hypotenuse.  Yoan Moncada over the last 11 days has proven that the Go-Go Sox are in full affect, or flavor.  Whatever the millennials wanna call it.  Is rad still a thing?  Never the who, he has 4 steals over the last 11 games and the propensity, which we thought was potential in the preseason for a lot of the southsiders, is totally a legit thing.  The license to steal (like an opposite version of Bond, or a Fredo Bandido of steals) has the Sox players that hit towards the top of the lineup, when on base, gives them full autonomy to take it.  And by it, I mean the steal of a bag.  Not only do I love it, I would condone a trade for Yoan at some expense that is a sort of overspend.  His hit rate screams breakout, and I mean who doesn’t like a screamer.  Lets everyone know who is laying down the law.  Gives us all a little extra wink-wink.  Extra is right!  He has hit near the top of the order for days and it should continue.  The one thing that bad teams are good at is ulterior fantasy goodies, and steals is definitely one of those stats. So do yourself a favor, go propose to the Yoan owner and say would you have and hold me forever, and ever, and trade me him for a slightly over pay.  Your stats won’t hate you in the morning.  Let’s see what else is hopping on the good foot and stealing the good things in the saves and steals department.  But with charts for her pleasure…or yours.

Picking on catchers in daily roster moves is fun.  Here are the SV leaders for steals against this season. Not ever stat is a good stat, especially when you have catchers and the frequency of steals against.  It isn’t always their fault, but it is not, not their fault.  Ya dig?

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:

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The most important thing in fantasy baseball relief-dom in terms of holds is consistency.  Without consistency of opportunities, of placement in the bullpen, and a team’s consistent success in utilizing their bullpen to your fantasy advantage… you get left out out in the cold when it comes down to accumulating a stout holds based relief pitching corps. Until there is a shift in the utilization of bullpens for the benefit of fantasy, more so, the leagues that use the hold stat.  I will admit that I am more of an eye test person than a numbers guy.  Numbers scare me.  They prove too many things that don’t factor in the human error factor and the good ole eye test.  So against my better mental state, I used numbers from the past five years to show that the bullpens are being used more frequently.  Not just by some teams, but by all teams.  I know, duh.  This is something that we all eyed to be happening than Smokey goes in the opposite direction like a dyslexic salmon and gets some data to prove the incline of a stat that he holds so near and dear to his fantasy bear heart.  Well sit back, relax, it’s going to be a fun ride on the holds bus this week as we do some research and than put the top-50 relief pitchers into hold tiers.  Enjoy!

The 2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join with prizes! All the exclamation points!

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The title reminds me of an old joke — stop me if you’ve heard it — a guy with a wooden eye walks into a bar and pours out his heart to the bartender, “My wife left me, she said I had a bad temper, and, with this disability — this wooden eye, I will never find another girl.”  The bartender puts down the glass he’s shining because that’s what bartenders do to talk and says, “I’m not going to lie to you, your wooden eye could be a problem.  You need to find a girl with problems of her own.  How about you try that girl by herself on the dance floor?  The one with the big ears.”  So the guy with the wooden eye downs his shot of whiskey, wipes his mouth with his sleeve and approaches the girl, “Do you wanna dance?”  She swoons, “Would I?”  “F*ck you, Dumbo!”  So, Alex Wood is in Coors tomorrow.  Um, yeah, no thank you, but this is about the bigger picture.  Well, not too big of a picture, because the Dodgers have about sixteen starters on the DL, so at some point Wood might not be in the rotation.  He is now, though, and he’s lovely.  He has a 11.5 K/9.  That would be the fifth best starter K-rate and better than his rotation mate, Kershaw.  Wood has a 2.49 xFIP, which would be third in the majors for starters, behind only Chris Sale and Pineda.  To touch on stats that actually matter, his ERA is 2.73, and he’s been unlucky!  You’d be hard-pressed to find one area where Wood is not excelling.  Am I grabbing him in all leagues?  Of course!  Wait, are you asking, ‘would I?’  F*ck you, Dumbo!  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Such a weird week of Jodie Foster references at Razzball, and we’re only to Wednesday.  What will be tomorrow?  Joe Panik Room?  Okay, raise your hand if you saw Starling Marte being suspended for Nandrolone.  The one person raising his or her hand is the person supplying Marte with Nandrolone.  Take ’em away, boys!  I just made my 2nd imaginary arrest.  My first was when I imagined arresting Ben Carson for driving with his eyes closed.  This is like Pollock 2016 all over again, except instead of breaking his elbow; Marte broke our trust.  As punishment, Starling Marte should get an 80-game suspension or a “We were all rooting for you” Tyra GIF tattooed on his back.  I think Gregory Popolanco turned him in, with help from Freese.  Adam Frazier will get a regular job in the outfield since the Pirates said Austin Meadows isn’t ready yet.  Bee oh oh.  Boo.  I grabbed Meadows in all mixed leagues for the sheer excitement, but within about an hour I realized Meadows is unlikely coming up until at least June and dropped him.  As for Marte, you can likely lose him in most redraft leagues, and, for some of us, we’re having a “Don’t have Marte” party!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Before we jump right into this draft recap, let’s go over a little bit of background about the league and its details. This isn’t like the typical RCL 5×5 rotisserie league we often talk about in this space. LOEG is a 10×10 head-to-head keeper league, with 10 teams and four keepers per team from year to year. The league has been around for something like ten years and has been graced by the presence of yours truly for the past five.

Since the categories, scoring, and rules are a little different in this league I’ll break down all the details below. I think it’s important to break this down a bit first because not only do I want to bore you to death, but I want you to have all the information while you are going over the results and making fun of my team in the comments section. Anyway, here we go:

Razzball Commenter Leagues are open! Play against our contributors and your fellow readers for prizes. Join here!

Please, blog, may I have some more?