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!

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Speed kills. Whether that be by the arm or legs. But this isn’t no SAGNOF post, this is the weekly look at strictly bullpens.  At what point do we stop looking at velocity and its effectiveness being a correlative?  Probably never, as the statcast era has never looked stronger as geeks type in the square roots of derivatives to figure out the best angle of deflection for them to walk down the stairs in their parents basement.  It’s a tale as old as time, and people like me mock math and numbers because, well… I am lazy.  Numbers always existed, but now they are so finite that you can get a feet per second drop of a the pin that no one can hear.  So maybe I should delve into the fray here and take a look at the early season velocity for closers and how they compare to last year and how they correlate to K success. Velocity isn’t the end all be all of reliever success, but is fully in the forefront when studs like Craig Kimbrel and Kenley Jansen are teetering on slow-pokes compared days of yore.  So I made a hand dandy chart, comparing last years average fastball velocity, K/9 and Swinging strike % to this years to see where the relationship between success, worry and full on panic in the closer realms exist.

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Hello and welcome!  We’re going to take a look at the AL and NL league leaders in each standard rotisserie category after the first full week of baseball and discuss, analyze, and Razz it up! (90’s phrasing!) My favorite in the group is ONLY available when there is a tie in a category. Waiting in the weeds is a pitcher or hitter that is not currently leading the category, but could find their way into the lead soon…

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You ever see something and you still don’t believe it?  You distrust your own eyes.  Well, I just saw a video of this, and I still don’t believe it:  Mookie Betts bowls better than he hits.  And he hits pretty damn good!  He rolled a perfect game yesterday vs. the Yankees (4-for-4, 5 runs, 4 RBIs, and his 2nd homer), but he also rolled a perfect game in the World Series of Bowling last November.  On Shabbos, no less!  Half of me is expecting someone to point out that it was this other cat, Mookie Betts from Virginia, who is a white guy who looks like Ed Kemper.  (By the way, you kinda know Ed Kemper reads Razzball.  You just know this.)  So, out of habit, does Mookie spray his baseball cleats?  Does he ever beat out an infield single and want to sweep out his right heel like he just threw a bowling ball?  Between innings, does he play arcade games?  How is Mookie Betts a world class bowler and not Matt Albers?!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Einhorn is Finkel. Finkel is Einhorn. Einhorn is a man! You know who else is a man. Dick Lovelady. Who? Richard Lovelady. If you find yourself wondering who the you-know-what is Richard Lovelady, it’s a perfectly normal response. About two weeks back or so I was watching a random Spring Training game and the guy on the mound for the Royals had on jersey with the name Lovelady across the back. I made a quick voice note using Google Home to remind myself to somehow wedge his name in one of my posts. Today is the day I decided to shoehorn that bad boy in. To be honest, Lovelady sounds like something Hyun-jin Ryu claims to be very good at. Moving on.

Maybe it’s just me, but I need to see George Kontos and Gerrit Cole in the same place at the same time. I astutely put two and two together after seeing Cole’s Fantrax profile picture and Kontos’s CBS profile picture. Perhaps it’s because I was two beers deep and those beers were ironically Tree House Dopplegangers, but any time I get the chance to make two plus two equal five, I jump at the opportunity.

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There’s nothing better than an April Fools’ prank that is so sly it’s barely perceptible as a prank.  You don’t even know if it’s a gag.  One year, I had a sound engineer friend make a recording that said, “This call is being recorded.  A copy of that recording is available automatically to the police and the prosecutors.”  Then used that to call my mom and tell her I was in jail for accidentally running down a family of four.  “But mom the light was yellow!”  Apparently, I overestimated how funny she’d find that phone call, and twelve years later, she still calls me the night before April Fools’ to remind me not to pull any pranks on her.  This year the best prank I saw was one done by Major League Baseball.  It was so slight, if you blinked you’d miss it.  For their prank, they scheduled a half day on a Sunday.  Since 1908, MLB has played a full schedule of games on Sunday.  What a great joke!  Well done, MLB.  But, seriously, this is a joke, right?  Any hoo!  Know what’s not a joke, the love Trevor Williams has for Razzball, apparently:

Yesterday, Williams wasted no time to prove to me that his love for us is as strong as my love for him.  He went 6 IP, 0 ER with zero hits, but he failed to locate as well, and walked five guys, while racking up only one strikeout.  I believe his love for Razzball is only growing so this is just the beginning of great things to come.  Notice spelling of ‘come,’ you sickos.  On the reals, I like Williams for this year, and wrote a Trevor Williams sleeper for him this preseason.  Anyway, here’s what I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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This draft is a crock pot vs. a microwave.  A love sesh vs. a ‘hold the moan.’  A nature hike vs. “I’m gonna sit in the car as we drive past some mountains.”  Guys and five girl readers, it’s a slow draft.  This slow draft took about fifteen days, 18 hours, four minutes and–okay, only a lunatic counts seconds.  Not almost 15 days of straight drafting, mind you.  I don’t need to ice my clicky finger.  It’s five minutes of drafting, twelve hours of waiting.  It does allow you to second-guess your picks.  Actually, more like triple-guess.  (Who are we kidding, you quadruple-guess, fiveruple-guess, sextruple-guess, ochocinco-guess your picks.) For those not in the know, it’s a weekly, 15-team, two-catcher league that lasts for 50 rounds and there’s no waivers.  Anyway, here’s my NFBC draft recap:

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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!

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The other day I had a dream that Giancarlo and I were hosting a white party in the Hamptons, and I turned to Giancarlo and said, “You know who else I wish were here?”  And he said, “Zsa Zsa Gabor?”  And I said, “No, we’re not gay in the traditional sense.  We’re only gay for each other.”  Then he said, “Well, who do you wish were here then, silly?”  And I said, “Ronald Acuna,” only I said it in exclamation marks shaped like Gregorian letters, if Gregorian letters is what you call these things I’m typing out with my hand-toes.  That’s right, snitches, Greycarlo is sending out Evites and Ronald Acuna’s invited!  And guess what, jerks?  I also drafted Ronald Acuna on a fantasy baseball team (for SEO)!  This league was hosted by CBS’s Scott White, and all your favorite ‘perts were there, like that one guy whose name you forgot, and that other guy who has diabetes who you also can’t remember.  They were all there!  Oh, and returning champ, our very own, Lance Broshitz!  Anyway, here’s my 12-team, NL-Only draft with some thoughts:

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Besides pooping, every fantasy baseballian needs to do prep work.  Whether that be reading a publication of your choosing or doing a ton of mock drafts. Well, I am going to do you one better than using a mock draft to help steer your hand.  I am using actual drafts that people do for money to lend you an ADP hand in the terms of closers.  What else would I be doing?  After all, I am Smokey, where only you can prevent fantasy bullpen fires.  That public service announcement was brought to you by my own personal sponsor of Fischer pillows.  Not everyone uses or believes in ADP as a source because some people in mock drafts are crazy, like legitimately Tehol-type crazy.  That mock draft data is basically useless, but what if you had a list of drafts that were for actual dinero, and possibly some American money also?  The NFBC is a great contest that we here at Razzball take part in and several of our writers have challenged readers, just like you, in these contests.  They draw everyday Joe’s and experts from around the deep spaces of fantasy and all compete for money on varying levels of dramatics.  Sounds fun?  Cool, let me borrow 150 bucks so I can do one too.  So I took that data from the past 35 days for a 12-team based ADP and broke it down into two fun categories.  Drafts between February 1st and February 20th, and February 21 to March 6th.  Just so they sound more legit, the first group had 88 drafts of ADP values to use and the second had 106.  The number of ADP resources to draw from will increase by the time we get closer to actual game times, but for now 194 total drafts with data is at your discretion below.  Only the closers side of it.

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

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