We continue our quest for elusive the increasingly elusive fantasy species, saves. Remember, these aren’t the next guys up. These names can be gross. If you’re drinking coffee, stop. I won’t be paying for your new monitor…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Jacob Barnes 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.
…And presenting our next award is Chance the Rapper and Grey the Napper. *I lean into the mic* “Thank you, it’s wonderful to be here. Did you know the inventor of Ping Pong originally named it Fing Fong? Yup, but he had terrible penmanship.” *no one laughs* “Oh, hey, there’s Jeff Daniels. My dad loves you, but calls you Jack Daniels. Then again, I’m not sure he’s talking about you. Anyway, the nominees for our first Teoscar are… Teoscar Hernandez, from years in the minors of 17 homers, 33 steals. Teoscar Hernandez, from the projections of 17/17 for this year. Finally, Tesocar Hernandez, playing a fire emoji in The Emoji Movie, who yesterday went 4-for-6, 2 runs, 4 RBIs, hitting .421, with his 1st homer, while coming a double short of the cycle. And the winner is… *fumbles with envelope* “Wow! Tesocar Hernandez.” “He was the only one nominated, and it’s called the Teoscars.” “Shut up, Chance! You’re ruining the ratings! By the way, to cover the weed smell in your house, you should open a Subway sandwich shop in your living room.” So, obviously Teoscar’s been all that and a swag bag of freebies, and I would grab him in all leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Razzball Podcast is back in this bee-yatch with an action packed program for the fiends. Yes, all of my intros are stolen from skits first heard on mid-90’s rap albums. Sorry, we keep feeding you, and feeding you… nuggets of knowledge to help you take down the fantasy crown. Speaking of fantasy crowns, I have the reigning Tout Wars NL-Only champion in tow, as Grey Albright blesses us with his magical pipes, hot boba takes, and fantasy baseball wisdom. We talk Shohei Ohtani, Rhys Hoskins joining elite company, wavier wire targets, and why Grey loves him some Gregory Polanco. We also sit down with former NFL player and commissioner of the Fan Controlled Football League, Ray Austin. How about that? Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 20% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If all the experts in the world had baby T-Rex arms, no one would be able to pat themselves on the back. I am lumping myself into the SAGNOF love fest that the grand master Lothario himself, Grey, was part of and preached in the preseason on why Tim Anderson was the mac. Or the PC, whatever your preference in lapputers is. I not only loved the guy two months ago, I love him more now that he is living up to the steals hype and maintaining other stats that make him basically a eight-games-into-the-season stud. Looking over his stats and nothing jumps out as a SSS type thing… Is the OBP higher than it will be in 20, 50, or 80 games? Maybe, but are we certain that he can’t maintain a .350 OBP moving forward? Looking at the back of his baseball card, speed has always been there. As he develops into his body, considering that he is only 24, the power was going to develop from what we saw in the minors. His high total for any other season besides last year was 13 combined for 2016 that encompassed AAA and 99 games with the Sox. But this is the SAGNOF corner of the world, taters are good, but swipes are delicious. He has 5 steals in eight games, and is on pace for a whole lot more if he can keep that vital OBP to a respectable number. He has the license to steal and should continue to do so…but it could get better. He hasn’t hit anywhere but the bottom-half of the order. This has eerie similarities to what we saw last year from Merifield. Sustain great number from the bottom and then boom, move up the order and become an even better kleptomaniac. So while the steals now are fantastic and a boon to his draft day value (thanks Grey!), keep an eye out for if/when he moves up the order and his numbers could from what they are now to even better. SAGNOF rant over, let’s get to the tidbits, and the bits of tid that keep all the girls squirrely. Cheers!Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m convinced you’d be better off if you ignored everything from Spring Training. For every one thing you gleam from the spring that pays off, there’s five terrible habits you pick up like you’re a priest in The Keepers on Netflix. Okay, maybe you would have seen Joey Gallo wasn’t striking out as much (barely has carried over), but you also would’ve seen Shohei Ohtani looking terrible. Hat tip to someone on Twitter who screenshot this:
So many things wrong with this — Has Bryce Harper ever been bad? I mean, maybe injured, but a bust? WUT. Also, it’s one thing to be concerned about Shohei Ohtani, but bust? He hadn’t pitched one inning in the major leagues by that point and was being drafted around 100th overall. Bust? It was a gamble, risk was baked in. Yesterday, Shohei Ohtani bust…ed out! (See what I did there?) He went 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners (1 hit, 1 walk), 12 Ks. Good luck convincing someone he’s a bust now when trading for him.
The other pitcher with “Otani” in their last name is Jameson Taillon who went 9 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, 2 walks, 7 Ks, ERA at 1.26. Last year, I suggested to get his feng shui back, to find his equilibrium, because he couldn’t pitch with one testicle missing, I suggested he put a walnut in his jock strap for balance. Well, I’m not saying he took my advice, but, yesterday, Jameson Taillon gave up one hit. Imagine he was a eunuch? He’d be Sandy Koufax! Wait, was that why Koufax had a girl’s first name? For a while last year, Taillon was treating the surviving twin like a punch bag, but he looks back to the potential ace he once was. Go get ’em, Jameson Walnut! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Over the passed six months I have been imprisoned, suspended in static animation in the maximum security Galactic Fantasy Federation facility, falsely accused of recommending buys I would never endorse and urging people to sell players that I actually hold very dear. A couple lucky shots from a make-shift ion blaster I was able to telepathically build in space incarceration using spare pieces from my Mark VII Quantum E-Meter and I have escaped at last. I am writing this through a secure, untraceable VPN so I can provide you loyal readers with the fantasy information you’ve come to expect from me, even if its information so sensitive and secret that the Galactic Fantasy Federation would do anything to stop me from sharing it. I have time for a quick Friday recap before the space dogs come sniffing around my hiding hole again. And I do mean quick–just eight games on a Friday!? Y tho? Regardless, one of the few games played featured the Pirates of Pittsburgh’s plundering of the poor Cincinnati Red Legs. Unlike Sea of Thieves, this Pirates game actually featured a lot of action. The Bucs scored 14 runs on 15 hits, lead by 25-year-old third baseman Colin Moran who collected four hits, scoring three runs and driving in three. I wrote about Moran last July but that may have been a bit premature. So many super prospects in Houston, it’s hard to stand out. In Pittsburgh, almost every prospect they’ve had over the past five years has been disappointing so the bar is much lower for Colin to excel. The youngster is slashing .318/.348/.545 through five games started with a homer and 8 RBI, but it’s that sexy .893 OPS that makes me raise my eyebrow, Dwayne Johnson! It’s still early, but Colin should have plenty of opportunity to show what he’s got in the surprisingly exciting Bucs line up. Buy Moran, don’t be moronic! I think he’s worth a flier in all leagues, but don’t tell the Galactic Federation I told you that! Moran is Colin you to pick him up!
Here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
For thousands of millennia, which is millions of years, Samoans were a persecuted people, due to their big bones. One Samoan, Fa’a’la’a’la’la’la told one reporter, “If you ordered a flank steak, and got a thick ribeye, you’d be so pleased,” then Fa’a’la’a’la’la’la got choked up, “But if you order a five-foot, six-inch man and get a 485-pound man wearing a grass skirt, you make fun.” However, through all this ridicule, the Samoans always had their main industry on the island. An industry that sustained their people. An industry that brought everyone together. However, this industry has taken a hit this last year. This industry is manufacturing tiki torches. Fa’a’la’a’la’la’la said, “Now tiki torches make us racist?! We’re big-boned Islanders, we can’t be racist!” Now, the Samoan people may have had their torches snuffed, but have a new bright spot: Sean Manaea. He’s not big-boned and he has no apostrophes in his last name, but I can assure you he is Samoan. He’s also a straight dazzlenozzle so far this year. His command is at a minuscule 0.6 K/9, and his xFIP is 3.40. His velocity is a little off, and his Ks haven’t been outstanding, but in the early going, with pitching as it’s been, I’d buy Manaea everywhere. If not for him, do it for Fa’a’la’a’la’la’la. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Earlier in the preseason, I delved into the holds tiers for fantasy bullpens. It exists right here in the Fantasy Relief Pitchers for Holds. That was more a broad brushstroke of fantasy bullpen goodness that goes on here at Razznation. Now that we are thumbs deep in draft season and the players being more prominent in roles are starting to show their purpose we can get a better grip on who to won and who to covet for the ugly step sister of saves the hold stat. In more cases than not, following a “drafting for holds model” holds true, but holds are such a fluid stat… more fluid than the closer role. So drafting the elite guy every year looks like a great idea, but name the guy who lead the league in holds multiple years in a row or, hell, twice in their career? It’s a short list, whose names are not that awesome or even around anymore. So for drafting for holds, whether it be in a straight holds league or a saves+holds league having the edge up on bullpenery is key. The strategies for each of those leagues is basically the same as the elite holds category earners and they should be drafted after the last “donkeycorn” closer to come off the board. If you draft an elite closer, always cuff your closer with the top holds candidate on that team. Next, do what I just said twice and grab your second closer’s backup/holds guy. That will give you two closers, their back-ups for the “just in case” moments and holds. Then your last pick for your bullpen will be an independent guy that has a K/9 rate over 9. That is my finite strategy for drafting holds in any league. It gives you five guys that you can bank on every day in a “set it and forget it” type situation. Don’t fall in love with your options, as like I said, bullpen fluidness is blah and you can find a hot hand on an off day. So now that strategy is out of the way, let’s look at the more finite tiers of holds!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?
Now to finish out the positional rankings for 2018 with my favorite: the relievers! I may have went a little crazy here, 3000 words on closers and one stat fellas is just bonkers to think about. I could have just used “save potential” and “hard hit percentage in medium leverage situations” about 40 times in my rankings, but I didn’t. Ranking relievers is an ever changing game of robbing Peter to pay Paul scenario. There are always going to be injuries and attrition, which lead to relievers getting changed and making the preseason rankings look stupid in hindsight. Last year there were 40 relievers that garnered 10 saves or more. Now, if you are keeping track, there are still only 30 teams so my previous sentence about replacement value in relievers is very true. That is why handcuffs and secondary bullpen pieces on draft day are important, not only for saves but to help your cranky ratios that creep up from day-to-day. This ranking is just based on relievers with potential for saves and how they will stack up in that department. Holds post will be something separate and should be forthcoming, though you sure as hell aren’t getting 3000 words on Holds because I’d rather blow my brains out. Still love the Holds game as much as, or even more than any other fantasy writer, just gotta temper expectations as not many other sites give you so much bullpen love as we do. So enjoy the rankings of 2018 fantasy relief pitchers. (It says 50 but I went ahead and did a little extra.) Enjoy!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?