Please see our player page for Gregory Soto 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.

Welcome Back!  Week 1 is nearly in the books and what a wild ride it has been!  I like to describe Head to Head fantasy baseball as a long race with approximately 25 mini races along the way. The first leg of the race has been interesting, to say the least!  COVID tripped up the Nationals before they could get out of the gate. Yermin Mercedes went from 0-60 in 2 seconds flat!  Nate Lowe got out to a commanding RBI lead and if Fernando Tatis Jr was a racehorse, there would be rumblings about the glue factory.  Please don’t mistake my sense of humor, or lack thereof, for anything short of disappointment for the Padres, and for baseball in general.  I wish Tatis a speedy recovery!  He is just too good of a talent to go to waste.  Let’s turn our attention to Week 2 and which players are going to give you a leg up in your matchups!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*rubs ancient lamp, a blue genie appears* I have three wishes for this baseball season. My first wish is “No one I own get hurt.” I didn’t draft Dinelson Lamet, Josh Donaldson or Trevor Rosenthal, so I made your job easy for you, great, powerful Genie. My 2nd wish is “Everyone I drafted do well.”  I drafted Juan Soto, Trevor Story and Alec Bohm, so, really, I’m doing much of the heavy lifting for this wish too. My 3rd and final wish is “All defensive shifts are eight catchers stacked on top of each other like a totem pole.” Thanking you in advance, Genie. Wait a second, you’re not a genie, you’re Bartolo Colon in Blue Man Group paint. Damn you!

Okay, breathe in, breathe out. Take a moment. Really feel the ground below your feet. The air in your lungs. The soon-turds in your lower intestine. You’re alive. That’s the feeling. April baseball, you giant love muffin! I missed you so much. I’d get choked up, but I cried out all my tears at Luis Castillo’s start. Remember, the only thing you really should take away from yesterday’s player performances is:  It’s one game. Anyway, here’s what I saw yesterday for fantasy baseball:

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Once upon a time, we were uncertain how teams would handle their prospects in this the final season of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between Major League Baseball and the players union. 

Today, I feel like everyone could’ve seen this coming. 

Given one last chance to squeeze their prospects for an extra year of team control, teams just can’t help themselves. Nico Hoerner will have to stay in the minors for about 37 days to grant the Cubs an extra year on his contract, so that’s that. Easy call. Let’s keep Eric Sogard and Ildemaro Vargas instead, bumping some other more promising pieces off the roster. 

Teams act like this is just free money, but that feels like folly if we consider the 41st man and 1st man off the roster who theoretically earned a spot he can’t occupy because of Ildemaro Vargas. 

And it doesn’t take into account another big question: will they even want Nico Hoerner six seasons from now? Perhaps his ultimate value is allowing the club to hold onto a promising young arm who might’ve otherwise aged off the 40-man roster. 

No time for tears, though. Lots to cover this week. 

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And the men who hold high places

Must be the ones who start

To mold a new reality

Closer to the heart

 

What? You didn’t know that Toronto-based prog rock band Rush were huge roto baseball fans? That song was released in 1977 — the same year the Toronto Blue Jays played their inaugural season. It’s actually about their love for under-appreciated closer Pete Vuckovich who saved 8 games for the blue birds that year. A lot of us have that same love for certain closers and when it comes to draft time we think with our hearts rather than our heads. 

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Holds Ain’t Got No Face! 

These poor schlubs. No one’s favorite player is a middle reliever. The middle reliever never gets the girl. The signed middle reliever rookie card never fetches more than a buck-fifty on eBay. 

Yet these working-class heroes continue to go out every day and grind away to bridge the gap between the billion-dollar, sexy starting pitchers and the dark, mysterious closers. 

So here’s to you Graeme Lloyd! Here’s to you Mark Eichhorn! Here’s to you Matt Thornton! And MY personal favorite player of all time — here’s to you Jeff Nelson! 

 

From a fantasy perspective, the middle reliever has been a non-factor since the beginning of roto baseball. In your standard 5×5 leagues there’s just no room for a player who barely contributes in any of the 5 pitching categories. However, after years and years of heart attacks from being forced to draft Fernando Rodney because they missed the closer runs — cardiologists have created a new fantasy category to prevent such cardiac conditions: saves + holds 

Below I’ve ranked the top-40 non-closers for saves + holds leagues. In true Kerry-fashion, I’ve manufactured my own ranking system. I’ve ranked these guys out into three categories: sv/hlds, limiting runs, and K/9 — the three categories that middle relievers can consistently help you in. Limiting runs is a combination of ERA and WHIP — basically, in one inning, a reliever needs to keep guys off the bases — and if there are already guys on the bases — keeping them from scoring runs. You know — like the job of every pitcher! 

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(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY YESTERDAY ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $5/MONTH.)

Josh Naylor was gently touched on by me when he was traded from the Padres to the Indians, like the Padres gently touch on the Indians while playing Cowboys and Indians. *phone rings* “Hello, yes, that’s me. What’s that? I’ve been cancelled? I see. No, no, it’s understandable. Hey, I had a good run.” Welp, before I get out of here, Josh Naylor is only 23 years old, and doesn’t get nearly the love one with his type of power should get. You don’t have to be a carpenter to Naylor! *phone rings* “Hello…You again? I know I was cancelled, but I thought I could finish up prior to–Keep it short? Okay, like Al Pacino. What?! That was a short joke. They’re not allowed either? Oh c’mon…” Whispers, “Your mom…What? Did I say ‘c’mon your mom?’ Uh, yeah.” Damn, I just got cancelled while being cancelled. Any hoo! The Indians said Naylor would play every day. His last Triple-A year shows what he’s capable of:  10 HRs, .314 in 54 games. His Launch Angle is rather flat, and I’d love to see him hit more fly balls. That’s the only way to Naylor! *phone rings* “Ugh…Yes, I’m done.” Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY YESTERDAY ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $5/MONTH.)

Is it already time for my Jonathan Schoop pickup post this year? Geez, time does fly. Like your mother! What does that mean? I thought I heard she was a flight attendant. If not, I’m so sorry. Like your mother! What? I thought I heard she was very polite and always said sorry. Guess she’s a terrible person. My bad, was trying to be nice. So, Schoop, rhymes with dope, not Shoop, Shoop-e-doop. Uh, here I go, here I go, here I go again. Five girl readers, what’s my weakness? Men (who play baseball)! Damn it! I promised myself I wouldn’t make any allusions to Salt-N-Pepa. By the way, George Clooney has really nice hair. What color is it? SALT AND PEPPER! God damn it! Okay, so Schoop has cut his Ks (minimally), but is hitting better than usual with a much flatter swing. Considering how much he would loft the ball vs. now? I think he can get power and average with his new swing. Maybe call it the New Jonathan Swing — Tony! Toni! Tone! says Feels Good! If nothing else, Schoop is worth rostering because he’s A) Not rostered in nearly enough leagues. B) Showing off a new swing that’s working for him, and is around a top 10 2nd baseman on our Player Rater. C) There’s no C. D) There was no C, why would there be a D? E) Grumbles F) Me, stop listing letters! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The changes to bullpens week to week this season will probably never cease to amaze me. It’s the damn wild west out here. Why anyone would pay for saves is beyond me. With the trade deadline looming it’s also a good time to take stock and maybe stash some of the next in line guys if you have the room. Tiers are day of the week themed since everyday is Wednesday now.

  • I thought Joe Jiminez had one of the safest jobs in baseball. He did everything he could to lose it. The team has announced his removal as closer and a committee going forward. Gregory Soto is probably the only one of the lot with enough upside to make it worth the chase.
  • The Rays traded Emilio Pagan and were cursed to never again find a closer. It seems like Diego Castillo is the reliever due for an injury. He a plenty capable reliever. We’ll see what the usage looks like soon.
  • Daniel Bard snagged a pair of saves for the Rockies. As a righty, he has a lead on Carlos Estevez for manager decision making. We’ll see if that holds up until Wade Davis returns.
  • The Blue Jays are a full blown committee now. Anthony Bass didn’t do much to lose his grip but Jordan Romano is converting some opps, as well. Ken Giles is throwing so it may not matter much longer.
  • The Cardinals placed Andrew Miller on the IL. Giovanny Gallegos is kind of the guy by default at this point. Team management is still trying to stop one step shy of committing to him fully but whatever. Until Ryan Helsley is back I’m not sure anyone else earns a save.
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?