Please see our player page for Dominic Leone 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.

We have to talk about these London games.  They were bloody awful!  Talk about giving the pitchers a lift, but lift as in British English, as in putting the pitchers on an elevator with Droopy Dog saying, “Going down?”  This was like if The Spice Girls had a Cilantro Spice.  The Yankees used a pitcher named Hale just to troll the Brits.  They should’ve signed Ben Revere to a two-day contract, but just to have him scream at the front gates when the Brits were coming into the stadium. That would’ve been savage.  Never forget, never surrender!  Okay, now I’m just singing Corey Hart, WHO WAS CANADIAN BUT REACHED SUCCESS IN AMERICA!  Any hoo!  There was a ton of offense this weekend.  Luke Voit bongo’ed four hits on Saturday, then pulled up lame because London’s healthcare system.  The Yanks said he should be back on Tuesday, and the Brits said, “The Yanks said something.”  Aaron Judge (1-for-2, 1 run) went donking (his 7th); Aaron Hicks (2-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs) said, “Dinger ain’t just the Rockies mascot,” with his 6th on Saturday; Brett Gardner (2-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI) elicits female-like screams from Joe Buck when he went deep for his 12th homer on Saturday; Michael Chavis stepped up for the Sawx with two dongers on Saturday because the fence was 255 feet away and 0-for-5 on Sunday; Just Dong (3-for-4, 2 runs and his 18th) introduced his new cosplay character, Dongo Magnificent; Christian Vazquez (2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 11th homer) thumbed his nose up at all Protestant Vazquezes, and all pitchers got wrecked.  I mean, Rick Porcello (1/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 5.07) and Masahiro Tanaka (2/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 3.74) should’ve forgot their passports and never even went.  Oh well, as we know, hitters don’t need to be in London to tea off.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

When does excessive SAGNOF’ing become a problem? Do you like go blind if you do it too much?  The winning number for steals is the number in question here.  Whether that be in RCL’s or your home league.  The amount of steals you think you need is based on your league.  Just telling you a number like it takes 62 steals to win a league period, end of story, would be a boring article.  So getting to that proverbial X number to win your league is that question here.  It is subjective based on league size, shape and scoring.  Leagues with smaller team numbers is obviously smaller and so on. Starting roster size plays into it as well.  So what is it enough for winning or finishing in the top-3 in your league in the steals category?  The main strategy to implore during your draft is to see who is going excessive for the steals. If a team comes out the gate and has one of the elite three (TT, Lin Miranda and Flash Jr.) you know what’s up.  After that, it is a step down in expectancy.  As those three are all projected to have 50-plus steals.  So finding a great medium for filling out your set team is important, don’t punt steals all together and don’t overpay for steals too early as they never have a face later in the draft.  So let’s see what the trick to getting you onto the podium for steals in most of your leagues…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Holding off on info during the height of draft time is just not my M.O.  So I am bringing the goods and the reliever rankings a week earlier than anticipated.  Why go into battle with a water pistol when you can go with the boomstick?  At this point in the preseason, having a few teams with committee situations is normally a bad thing, except when you get to grab the right guy in that committee.  Having multiple draftable options from one team is more of a benefit than a detriment on draft day, because inevitably one person is going to be wrong in that selection process and it is usually the guy who gets drafted higher.  So looking at the situations with the White Sox, Rangers, Cardinals, and Diamondbacks as they sit today committee’s exist.  Whether we want to believe it or not, each team has no clear cut closer and if you are skimming, this is still a good thing.  Let someone else draft Gregerson, Soria, Parker, and Claudio.  While you can sit back and wait a few picks or even rounds and scoop up Leone, Jones, Bedrosian, and Kela.  As the season draws closer, this advantage will dwindle down to nothing, but for now use it to your advantage.  Miss out on a top 8-10 closer, no worries, load up on the maybe’s and possibilities and if they don’t pan out than you can easily pivot to a more useful option on the waiver.  So when someone says a committee is a bad thing, laugh and agree.  Then drop the quartet of save possibilities into your team and see what happens.  At worst they will cost you four out of your last seven picks.  At that point in the draft, you should have an established team with all starters in place and you would be gambling on reliever talent anyways.  Now you have the knowledge in your corner and a little bit of rankings goodness from ole’ Smokey.  The initial installment of the Closer report with rankings is here, get excited!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This weekend I went to Palm Springs to see the in-laws, and I was saying to Father Cougs that I wished I bet on the Phillies to win the World Series back in November when we were in Vegas.  He replied, “With all that blog money you have?”  Then I went to the bathroom and told my reflection, “One day they’re not gonna laugh at you!  I promise you that Reflection Grey!”  Then, while sitting in a stall, I listened on my iPhone to the theme from Rocky, Gonna Fly Now, and stabilized my ego.  Trying hard now!  Gettin’ strong now!  Gonna fly now!  Any hoo!  The newest favorite son of Philadelphia, Jake Arrieta, joined an already underrated starting rotation.  I’d contend (for the welterweight championship) that Arrieta isn’t even their ace, that label goes to the guy draped in Mardi Gras beads, Nola.  For a while, it appeared Arrieta was headed to Philly.  I hear the hold up was due to Arrieta unable to find a special type of umbrella.  “Do you have an umbrella that blocks thrown batteries?”  In the top 40 starters, I said, “At this stage in Arrieta’s career, I don’t see his value changing much no matter where he signs.  If he goes to Miller Park, Chase or Coors, then I’ll lower him a little, but I see no way I raise him up outside of a move to Petco, which doesn’t seem likely, because the Padres are playing for 2020, then, in 2020, they’ll be playing for 2023.”  And that’s me quoting me!  See, so nothing really changes, and I’m not looking to draft Arrieta suddenly, but a solid real world move for the Phils.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2018 fantasy baseball:

Psyche!  Before we get into the roundup, there’s a $10 league signup today that needs some people.  When we did the polling of what youse wanted in your fantasy leagues, a large majority of you wanted paid leagues, but I’m getting the feeling we may not be doing them next year, and go back to all free leagues.  You don’t want to bet $10 to win $100 that you’re better than eleven others?  C’mon, put that Jimmy John’s sub money where your mouth is!  Hey, I could write ad copy.  Anyway, the roundup:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Carlos Carrasco went 6 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.41, as the Indians won their 162nd game, and four-thousandth in a row.  Hayzeus Cristo, who wants some of the Indians right now?  Who?  Or, more appropriately with the Indians, how?  They’re fired up like their relatives just got a bad case of the pox and they’re all out of peace to put in their pipe.  Am I right?  Or am I just borderline racist?!  You tell me, Redskins fans!  By the way, you know your team name is racist when you can substitute in Redskins and it makes sense, i.e., “The Cleveland Redskins won last night, oh, I’m sorry, I mean Indians.”

Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It is that time of the year my good fellows, that allegiances and brand loyalty are thrown out the window.  As stalwarts start to grow warts, and the season long compilers gather some moss.  Allegiances and growing to fond of your roster for Holds is what sets apart first place and the rest of the standings.  Who you roster on your team is your own business, but I am here to learn you something as the season long leaderboard for holds is kinda stale.  The overall season leader, Taylor Rogers, has 2 in the past two weeks.  It doesn’t get any prettier as you go down the top 5 either.  Nick Vincent has 1, Jacob Barnes has 1, Jose Ramirez has 2, and Pedro Baez has 2.  Not completely awe-inspiring returns for the top of the top for holds.  On the contrary, the leaders in the past 14 days: Kyle Barraclough, David Hernandez, and Tommy Hunter all have 5.  Far more significant returns for a reliever, and it brings me to my key point… Grab a hold and ditch, period.  The names that are garnering late game situations is growing rapidly and will increase even more once rosters expand.  This is the “what have you done for me lately” approach to hold accumulation down the stretch.  Yes, the guys you roster may be great at K/9 and BB/9 and have stellar WHIP totals etc, but when chasing the one key cog stat for set-up men, that being the hold, no allegiances should remain.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Some people consider it a made up stat, I say hogwash or peeee-shaw.  For the people who play in the leagues where the stat matters, it matters.  That’s about as devout as I can get since I had to sell my soapbox to pay for my addiction of collectible thimbles.  Now, I get it, the Hold stat isn’t for everyone. The basis of actually being a stat is wonky at best. These guys do more than just come in for one inning or one batter, they hold your periph numbers in check.  If you don’t believe, that’s fine, I don’t believe myself half the time.  Heck, I have no reading comprehension, so it’s more of a “in one ear out the other” type thing.  See, I already forgot what I was discussing here.  So this year, some of the top options that are going to be the go-to-holds guys are actually jumping up and taking the starring role for their teams due to injury. So I will delve into a few situations to monitor from a Holds perspective, as well as a nice handy chart with some predictions on the side of caution for the top-20 middle relievers, in terms of them garnering the coveted stat of the Hold.

Want to take me on in a Razzball Commenter League? Join my league here!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s been a long, tough winter (especially for those of you who live in the Northeast), but the wait is almost over. Spring training is in full swing and the regular season is just around the corner. That means, of course, that fantasy baseball draft season is here.

Recently, we’ve attempted to identify the next Corey Kluber and looked at some hitters who displayed above average power and plate discipline over the past couple of seasons. Today, we’re going to focus on relief pitchers. If you’re looking for the latest closer rankings as well as the top handcuff and hold options, check out the Bullpen Report, which provides excellent RP analysis each and every week.

This post will attempt to identify relievers with a very specific profile: power arms with high K-rates. Players who throw hard and miss bats. It’s that simple. Well, mostly. Let’s take a look at the search filters that I used for this exercise:

Please, blog, may I have some more?